Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The developmental disorder Burn-McKeown Syndrome (BMKS) is characterised by choanal atresia and specific craniofacial features. BMKS is caused by biallelic variants in the pre-messenger RNA splicing factor TXNL4A. Most patients have a loss-of-function variant in trans with a 34-base pair (bp) deletion (type 1 Δ34) in the promoter region. Here, we identified two patients with BMKS. One individual has a TXNL4A c.93_94delCC, p.His32Argfs *21 variant combined with a type 1 Δ34 promoter deletion. The other has an intronic TXNL4A splice site variant (c.258-3C>G) and a type 1 Δ34 promoter deletion. We show the c.258-3C>G variant and a previously reported c.258-2A>G variant, cause skipping of the final exon of TXNL4A in a minigene splicing assay. Furthermore, we identify putative transcription factor binding sites within the 56 bp of the TXNL4A promoter affected by the type 1 and type 2 Δ34 and use dual luciferase assays to identify a 22 bp repeated motif essential for TXNL4A expression within this promoter region. We propose that additional variants affecting critical transcription factor binding nucleotides within the 22 bp repeated motif could be relevant to BMKS aetiology. Finally, our data emphasises the need to analyse the non-coding sequence in individuals where a single likely pathogenic coding variant is identified in an autosomal recessive disorder consistent with the clinical presentation.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin Genet

Publication Date



Burn-McKeown syndrome, DIM1, RNA splicing, TXNL4A, choanal atresia, craniofacial abnormalities, non-coding variant, promoter, spliceosome