Tuesday, September 26, 2017

ZTTK syndrome (Zhu-Tokita-Takenouchi-Kim)

Inspired by a patient.  Of interest, searching in PubMed for ZTTK yields no entries.

ZTTK Syndrome

Clinical Characteristics

Ocular Features:

The eyes are deep-set and the palpebral fissures slant downward.  Optic atrophy is often present.  The majority of individuals have poor visual responses which may also be attributed to central or cortical impairment.  Strabismus and nystagmus are frequently present.

Systemic Features:
ZTTK syndrome is multisystem malformation and developmental disorder with a heterogeneous clinical presentation.  The facial features might suggest the diagnosis at birth but most of the signs are nonspecific including frontal bossing, underdevelopment of the midface, facial asymmetry, low-set ears, broad and/or depressed nasal bridge, and a short philtrum.  Poor feeding and hypotonia in the neonatal period are usually present and physical growth is subnormal resulting in short stature.

Brain imaging may show abnormal gyral patterns, ventriculomegaly, hypoplasia of the corpus callosum, cerebellar hypoplasia, arachnoid cysts, and loss of periventricular white matter.  About half of patients develop seizures and many have intellectual disabilities.  Spinal anomalies include hemivertebrae with scoliosis and/or kyphosis.  Other skeletal features include joint laxity in some patients and contractures in others.  Arachnodactyly, craniosynostosis, and rib anomalies have been reported.  There may be malformations in the GI, GU, and cardiac systems while immune and coagulation abnormalities have also been reported.

Heterozygous mutations in the SON gene (21q22.11) have been identified in patients with this condition.  They may cause truncation of the gene product with haploinsufficiency or, in other patients, a frameshift in the reading.  The SON gene is a master RNA splicing regulator that impacts neurodevelopment.

Virtually all cases are the result of de novo mutations.

No effective treatment has been reported.  Physical therapy and assistive devices may be helpful.


Tokita MJ, Braxton AA, Shao Y, Lewis AM, Vincent M, Küry S, Besnard T, Isidor B, Latypova X, Bézieau S, Liu P, Motter CS, Melver CW, Robin NH, Infante EM, McGuire M, El-Gharbawy A, Littlejohn RO, McLean SD, Bi W, Bacino CA, Lalani SR, Scott DA, Eng CM, Yang Y, Schaaf CP, Walkiewicz MA. De Novo Truncating Variants in SON Cause Intellectual Disability, Congenital Malformations, and Failure to Thrive. Am J Hum Genet. 2016 Sep 1;99(3):720-727.

SON is a key component of the spliceosomal complex and a critical mediator of constitutive and alternative splicing. Additionally, SON has been shown to influence cell-cycle progression, genomic integrity, and maintenance of pluripotency in stem cell populations. The clear functional relevance of SON in coordinating essential cellular processes and its presence in diverse human tissues suggests that intact SON might be crucial for normal growth and development. However, the phenotypic effects of deleterious germline variants in SON have not been clearly defined. Herein, we describe seven unrelated individuals with de novo variants in SON and propose that deleterious variants in SON are associated with a severe multisystem disorder characterized by developmental delay, persistent feeding difficulties, and congenital malformations, including brain anomalies.

Kim JH, Shinde DN, Reijnders MRF, Hauser NS, Belmonte RL, Wilson GR, Bosch DGM, Bubulya PA, Shashi V, Petrovski S, Stone JK, Park EY, Veltman JA, Sinnema M, Stumpel CTRM, Draaisma JM, Nicolai J; University of Washington Center for Mendelian Genomics, Yntema HG, Lindstrom K, de Vries BBA, Jewett T, Santoro SL, Vogt J; Deciphering Developmental Disorders Study, Bachman KK, Seeley AH, Krokosky A, Turner C, Rohena L, Hempel M, Kortüm F, Lessel D, Neu A, Strom TM, Wieczorek D, Bramswig N, Laccone FA, Behunova J, Rehder H, Gordon CT, Rio M, Romana S, Tang S, El-Khechen D, Cho MT, McWalter K, Douglas G, Baskin B, Begtrup A, Funari T, Schoch K, Stegmann APA, Stevens SJC, Zhang DE, Traver D, Yao X, MacArthur DG, Brunner HG, Mancini GM, Myers RM, Owen LB, Lim ST, Stachura DL, Vissers LELM, Ahn EE. De Novo Mutations in SON Disrupt RNA Splicing of Genes Essential for Brain Development and Metabolism, Causing an
Intellectual-Disability Syndrome. Am J Hum Genet. 2016 Sep 1;99(3):711-719.

The overall understanding of the molecular etiologies of intellectual disability (ID) and developmental delay (DD) is increasing as next-generation sequencing technologies identify genetic variants in individuals with such disorders. However, detailed analyses conclusively confirming these variants, as well as the underlying molecular mechanisms explaining the diseases, are often lacking. Here, we report on an ID syndrome caused by de novo heterozygous loss-of-function (LoF) mutations in SON. The syndrome is characterized by ID and/or DD, malformations of the cerebral cortex, epilepsy, vision problems, musculoskeletal abnormalities, and congenital malformations. Knockdown of son in zebrafish resulted in severe malformation of the spine, brain, and eyes. Importantly, analyses of RNA from affected individuals revealed that genes critical for neuronal migration and cortex organization (TUBG1, FLNA, PNKP, WDR62, PSMD3, and HDAC6) and metabolism (PCK2, PFKL, IDH2, ACY1, and ADA) are significantly downregulated because of the accumulation of mis-spliced transcripts resulting from erroneous SON-mediated RNA splicing. Our data highlight SON as a master regulator governing neurodevelopment and demonstrate the importance of SON-mediated RNA splicing in human development.

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