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OBJECTIVE: To delineate a novel autosomal recessive multiple congenital anomaly-mental retardation (MCA-MR) syndrome in 2 female siblings of a consanguineous pedigree and to identify the disease-causing mutation. STUDY DESIGN: Both siblings were clinically characterized and homozygosity mapping and sequencing of candidate genes were applied. The contribution of nonsense-mediated messenger RNA (mRNA) decay to the expression of mutant mRNA in fibroblasts of a healthy carrier and a control was studied by pyrosequencing. RESULTS: We identified the first homozygous SALL1 mutation, c.3160C > T (p.R1054*), in 2 female siblings presenting with multiple congenital anomalies, central nervous system defects, cortical blindness, and absence of psychomotor development (ie, a novel recognizable, autosomal recessive MCA-MR). The mutant SALL1 transcript partially undergoes nonsense-mediated mRNA decay and is present at 43% of the normal transcript level in the fibroblasts of a healthy carrier. CONCLUSION: Previously heterozygous SALL1 mutations and deletions have been associated with dominantly inherited anal-renal-radial-ear developmental anomalies. We identified an allelic recessive SALL1-related MCA-MR. Our findings imply that quantity and quality of SALL1 transcript are important for SALL1 function and determine phenotype, and mode of inheritance, of allelic SALL1-related disorders. This novel MCA-MR emphasizes SALL1 function as critical for normal central nervous system development and warrants a detailed neurologic investigation in all individuals with SALL1 mutations.

Original publication




Journal article


J Pediatr

Publication Date





612 - 617


Abnormalities, Multiple, Female, Homozygote, Humans, Infant, Newborn, Intellectual Disability, Limb Deformities, Congenital, Mutation, Nonsense Mediated mRNA Decay, Pedigree, Syndrome, Transcription Factors