High-Throughput Screening for CYP21A1P-TNXA/TNXB Chimeric Genes Responsible for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome in Patients with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia.J Mol Diagn 2019; 21(5):924-931JM
Many patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency have CAH-X syndrome, a connective tissue dysplasia consistent with hypermobility-type Ehlers-Danlos syndrome due to a contiguous gene deletion involving the adjacent CYP21A2 and TNXB genes. CAH-X syndrome is caused by carrying CYP21A1P-TNXA/TNXB chimeric genes [CAH-X chimera 1 (CH-1) and chimera 2 (CH-2)] on one or more alleles. Genetic analysis is cumbersome due to pseudogene interference. We developed a PCR-based CAH-X high-throughput screening method to assess the copy numbers of TNXB exons 35 and 40; this method is amenable to either real-time quantitative PCR or droplet digital PCR (ddPCR). The assay was validated in a cohort of 278 subjects from 146 unrelated CAH families. Results were confirmed by a validated Sanger sequencing platform. A total of 44 CAH-X-positive calls were made, with 42 (26 CH-1 and 16 CH-2) confirmed. The assay had 100% sensitivity (42 true/42 positives), 99.2% specificity (234 true/236 negatives), and an overall 99.3% accuracy (276/278). Calls made by real-time quantitative PCR and ddPCR were consistent (100%), and ddPCR offered easier data interpretation. The CAH-X prevalence was 15.6% (21/135 probands), higher than the previously estimated 8.5%, and was particularly high (29.2% or 21/72) in those with a 30-Kb deletion. This assay is suitable for high-throughput CAH-X screening, especially in subjects testing positive for CAH in neonatal screening.