Holoprosencephaly is the most common structural malformation of the forebrain in humans and has a complex etiology including chromosomal aberrations, single gene mutations and environmental components. Here we present the pertinent clinical findings among members of an unusually large kindred ascertained over 15 years ago following the evaluation and subsequent genetic work-up of a female infant with congenital anomalies. A genome-wide scan and linkage analysis showed only suggestive evidence of linkage to markers on chromosome 2 among the most likely of several pedigree interpretations. We now report that a novel missense mutation in the SIX3 holopro- sencephaly gene is the likely cause in this family. Molecular genetic analysis and/or clinical characterization now show that at least 15 members of this family are presumed SIX3 mutation gene carriers, with clinical manifestations ranging from pheno- typically normal adults (non-penetrance) to alobar holoprosen- cephaly incompatible with postnatal life. This particular family represents a seminal example of the variable manifestations of gene mutations in holoprosencephaly and difficulties encountered in their elucidation. Published 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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