Microdeletion syndromes are frequent causes of neuropsychiatric disorders leading to intellectual disability as well as autistic features accompanied by epilepsy and craniofacial anomalies. From comparative deletion mapping of the smallest microdeletion to date at 12q24.31, found in a patient with overlapping clinical features of 12q24.31 microdeletion syndrome, we narrowed the putative critical region to 445 kb containing seven genes, one microRNA, and one non-coding RNA. Zebrafish in situ hybridization and comprehensive transcript analysis of annotated genes in the panels of human organ and brain suggest that these are all candidates for neurological phenotypes excluding the gene HPD. This is also corroborated by synteny analysis revealing the conservation of the order of these six candidate genes between humans and zebrafish. Among them, we propose histone demethylase KDM2B and histone methyltransferase SETD1B as the two most plausible candidate genes involved in intellectual disability, autism, epilepsy, and craniofacial anomalies. These two chromatin modifiers located approximately 224 kb apart were both commonly deleted in six patients, while two additional patients had either KDM2B or SETD1B deleted. The four additional candidate genes (ORAI1, MORN3, TMEM120B, RHOF), a microRNA MIR548AQ, and a non-coding RNA LINC01089 are localized between KDM2B and SETD1B. The 12q24.31 microdeletion syndrome with syndromic intellectual disability extends the growing list of microdeletion syndromes and underscores the causative roles of chromatin modifiers in cognitive and craniofacial development.
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