Hypopigmented patches in Roberts/SC phocomelia syndrome occur via aneuploidy susceptibility

SEZER A. , KAYHAN G. , Zenker M., Percin E. F.

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF MEDICAL GENETICS, vol.62, no.12, 2019 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 62 Issue: 12
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ejmg.2018.12.013


Roberts/SC phocomelia syndrome (RBS/SC) is a rare autosomal recessive inherited condition characterized by prenatal-onset growth retardation, craniofacial anomalies, and symmetrical limb reduction defects. Here, we present two affected siblings with RBS/SC who have consanguineous parents. Both patients had intrauterine growth retardation; similar facial findings, including arched eyebrows, epicanthic folds, posteriorly angulated ears, and retrognathia; and hypopigmented patches on their skin. However, despite these common findings, the extremity involvement was different between the patients. The more severely affected boy had hypoplasia of the tibia and symmetrical agenesis of the radius, ulna, proximal carpal bones, and fibula. The slightly affected girl presented with mild symmetrical mesomelic shortening. The cytogenetic analysis showed aneuploidies at varying rates concerning different chromosomes in the analyses of different culture materials. As a remarkable finding in the cytogenetic studies, chromosome analysis of fibroblast cultures obtained from the hypopigmented skin region showed a much higher frequency of aneuploidy, especially trisomy 7, than normopigmented skin fibroblasts and lymphocyte cultures for both patients, which was also proven ex vivo by qPCR analyses from uncultured skin tissues. In the subsequent ESCO2 gene sequence analysis, both patients were found to be homozygous for the mutation c.1111dupA (p.Thr371Asnfs*32; NM_001017420.2), which is known to be pathogenic. In the literature search, only two RBS/SC patient reports with hypopigmented skin patches could be found. In addition, the presence of pigmentation defects in the embryo was reported in some different animal models for RBS/SC. When the literature review and study are evaluated together, hypopigmented patches can be considered as a rare finding for RBS/SC. It can be suggested that somatic aneuploidies seen in the natural course of the disease, especially aneuploidy of chromosome 7, which has many genes associated with pigmentation, may be responsible for the hypopigmentation patches.