Human molecular genetics

Point mutations in human GLI3 cause Greig syndrome.

PMID 9302279


Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome (GCPS, MIM 175700) is a rare autosomal dominant developmental disorder characterized by craniofacial abnormalities and post-axial and pre-axial polydactyly as well as syndactyly of hands and feet. Human GLI3, located on chromosome 7p13, is a candidate gene for the syndrome because it is interrupted by translocation breakpoints associated with GCPS. Since hemizygosity of 7p13 resulting in complete loss of one copy of GLI3 causes GCPS as well, haploinsufficiency of this gene was implicated as a mechanism to cause this developmental malformation. To determine if point mutations within GLI3 could be responsible for GCPS we describe the genomic sequences at the boundaries of the 15 exons and primer pair sequences for mutation analysis with polymerase chain reaction-based assays of the entire GLI3 coding sequences. In two GCPS cases, both of which did not exhibit obvious cytogenetic rearrangements, point mutations were identified in different domains of the protein, showing for the first time that Greig syndrome can be caused by GLI3 point mutations. In one case a nonsense mutation in exon X generates a stop codon truncating the protein in the C-H link of the first zinc finger. In the second case a missense mutation in exon XIV causes a Pro-->Ser replacement at a position that is conserved among GLI genes from several species altering a potential phosphorylation site.