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A variant in TAF1 is associated with a new syndrome with severe intellectual disability and characteristic dysmorphic features

By Jason Ou’Rawe, Yiyang Wu, Alan Rope, Laura T. Jimenez Barrón, Jeffrey Swensen, Han Fang, David Mittelman, Gareth Highnam, Reid Robison, Edward Yang, Kai Wang, Gholson Lyon

Posted 21 Jan 2015
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/014050 (published DOI: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2015.11.005)

We describe the discovery of a new genetic syndrome, RykDax syndrome, driven by a whole genome sequencing (WGS) study of one family from Utah with two affected male brothers, presenting with severe intellectual disability (ID), a characteristic intergluteal crease, and very distinctive facial features including a broad, upturned nose, sagging cheeks, downward sloping palpebral fissures, prominent periorbital ridges, deep-set eyes, relative hypertelorism, thin upper lip, a high-arched palate, prominent ears with thickened helices, and a pointed chin. This Caucasian family was recruited from Utah, USA. Illumina-based WGS was performed on 10 members of this family, with additional Complete Genomics-based WGS performed on the nuclear portion of the family (mother, father and the two affected males). Using WGS datasets from 10 members of this family, we can increase the reliability of the biological inferences with an integrative bioinformatic pipeline. In combination with insights from clinical evaluations and medical diagnostic analyses, these DNA sequencing data were used in the study of three plausible genetic disease models that might uncover genetic contribution to the syndrome. We found a 2 to 5-fold difference in the number of variants detected as being relevant for various disease models when using different sets of sequencing data and analysis pipelines. We derived greater accuracy when more pipelines were used in conjunction with data encompassing a larger portion of the family, with the number of putative de-novo mutations being reduced by 80%, due to false negative calls in the parents. The boys carry a maternally inherited missense variant in a X-chromosomal gene TAF1, which we consider as disease relevant. TAF1 is the largest subunit of the general transcription factor IID (TFIID) multi-protein complex, and our results implicate mutations in TAF1 as playing a critical role in the development of this new intellectual disability syndrome.

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