A 72-year-old Danish puzzle resolved--comparative analysis of phenotypes in families with different-sized HOXD13 polyalanine expansions

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A phenotype-genotype correlation was previously described for carriers of different sized of polyalanine expansions in HOXD13. We report on a detailed comparison of 55 members (approximately 220 limbs) from 4 Danish families with duplications of 21 or 27 bp, expanding the polyalanine repeat from 15 to 22 and 24 residues, respectively. Two of these were previously described by Danish pioneers of human genetics, Tage Kemp and Oluf Thomsen. A clinical score was assigned to each limb based on manifestations assumed to represent different degrees of a duplication defect in hand rays 3-4 and foot rays 4-5. The length of metacarpals and phalangeal bones in rays 1, 2, and 5 was measured on hand radiographs and converted to Z-scores. The relative difference between corresponding right and left bones and directional, total, and fluctuating asymmetry was calculated for each individual. All of these parameters were compared between carriers of the +9 alanine expansion, the +7 alanine expansion, and non-mutation carriers with affected parents from the two families. Upper limb scores and the rate of abnormal bones (>2SD) were significantly higher in the first group than in the others. The first metacarpal and the middle phalanx of the little finger were significantly shorter, and the proximal phalanx of the index finger was significantly longer in this group than in the others. An increased level of total and fluctuating asymmetry was observed in long expansion carriers. Thus, our data have added evidence to the phenotype-genotype correlation previously reported, which was further extended to include lesser involvement of bones in ray 1, 2, and 5.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics. Part A
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)328-39
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2005

    Research areas

  • Base Sequence, DNA Primers, Denmark, Female, Genotype, Homeodomain Proteins, Humans, Male, Pedigree, Peptides, Phenotype, Transcription Factors

ID: 40341108