A novel pathogenic missense ADAMTS17 variant that impairs secretion causes Weill-Marchesani Syndrome with variably dysmorphic hand features.Sci Rep. 2020 Jul 02; 10(1):10827.SR
Weill-Marchesani syndrome (WMS) is a rare disorder displaying short stature, brachydactyly and joint stiffness, and ocular features including microspherophakia and ectopia lentis. Brachydactyly and joint stiffness appear less commonly in patients with WMS4 caused by pathogenic ADAMTS17 variants. Here, we investigated a large family with WMS from Newfoundland, Canada. These patients displayed core WMS features, but with proportionate hands that were clinically equivocal for brachydactyly. Whole exome sequencing and autozygosity mapping unveiled a novel pathogenic missense ADAMTS17 variant (c.3068 G > A, p.C1023Y). Sanger sequencing demonstrated variant co-segregation with WMS, and absence in 150 population matched controls. Given ADAMTS17 involvement, we performed deep phenotyping of the patients' hands. Anthropometrics applied to hand roentgenograms showed that metacarpophalangeal measurements of affected patients were smaller than expected for their age and sex, and when compared to their unaffected sibling. Furthermore, we found a possible sub-clinical phenotype involving markedly shortened metacarpophalangeal bones with intrafamilial variability. Transfection of the variant ADAMTS17 into HEK293T cells revealed significantly reduced secretion into the extracellular medium compared to wild-type. This work expands understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of ADAMTS17, clarifies the variable hand phenotype, and underscores a role for anthropometrics in characterizing sub-clinical brachydactyly in these patients.