• cerebellar hypoplasia;
  • gene deletion;
  • mental retardation;
  • OPHN1

Al-Owain M, Kaya N, Al-Zaidan H, Al-Hashmi N, Al-Bakheet A, Al-Muhaizea M, Chedrawi A, Basran RK, Milunsky A. Novel intragenic deletion in OPHN1 in a family causing XLMR with cerebellar hypoplasia and distinctive facial appearance.

X-linked mental retardation (XLMR) is notably a heterogeneous condition and often poses a diagnostic challenge. The oligophrenin 1 gene (OPHN1) is a protein with a Rho-GTPase-activating domain required in the regulation of the G-protein cycle. Mutations in the OPHN1 cause XLMR with cerebellar hypoplasia and distinctive facial appearance. We report a large Saudi family of four boys and one girl affected with XLMR. The boys had moderate MR, seizure disorder, facial dysmorphism, and cerebellar vermis hypoplasia. The girl had mild MR, seizures, and mild cerebellar hypoplasia. A novel deletion of at least exons 7–15 was identified by polymerase chain reaction analysis and multiple ligation probe amplification of the OPHN1 gene. The array comparative genomic hybridization further delineated approximately 68 kb deletion of the 7–15 exons and nearly half of intron 15. In addition, the X-inactivation confirmed random pattern in the girl. Although the affected boys have remarkably similar phenotype, there was some variability in the severity of the seizure disorder and the cerebellar hypoplasia. The report confirms the previous findings that carrier females may be symptomatic.