A Common Ancestral Asn242Ser Mutation in TMEM67 Identified in Multiple Iranian Families with Joubert Syndrome.Public Health Genomics. 2017; 20(3):188-193.PH
Joubert syndrome (JS) is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous group of rare neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by peculiar midbrain-hindbrain malformation, known as the "molar tooth" sign. JS can manifest a broad range of signs and symptoms. The most common features of JS are hypotonia, ataxia, developmental delay/intellectual disability, abnormal eye movements, and neonatal breathing abnormalities. To date, 29 genes have been shown to cause JS.
We employed whole-genome single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping in a group of Iranian families with JS and Sanger sequencing of a known mutation associated with JS located in a single homozygous regions shared by affected members of the families.
Homozygosity mapping uncovered a shared ∼2.2-Mb run of homozygosity on chromosome 8q21.3-q22.1 encompassing the known JS-causing TMEM67 gene. Sanger sequencing of a known mutation (NM_153704.5: c.725A>G; p.Asn242Ser) in TMEM67 identified from studying another Iranian family using whole-exome sequencing confirmed the presence of the homozygous mutation in 22 affected members of 12 nuclear families. "Molar tooth" sign of brain magnetic resonance imaging, moderate-to-severe neurodevelopmental delay, and abnormal eye movements were the most common features of affected individuals. In addition, liver disease, seizure, behavioural abnormalities, failure to thrive, and kidney disease were observed variably in some of the patients.
We propose that Asn242Ser is a founder mutation in the Iranian population, which might explain a significant proportion of JS cases from eastern Iran. Therefore, screening for this variant should be considered for genetic testing in Iranian patients with JS. In addition, this finding is important for developing population-specific genetic testing in Iran.