Synteny-defined candidate genes for congenital and idiopathic scoliosis
Idiopathic scoliosis (IS) is a common but poorly understood syndrome. Congenital scoliosis (CS) is less common but comparably unexplored. Previous studies suggest that each has a significant genetic component. However, the occurrence of scoliosis in the presence of other hereditary connective tissue syndromes raises the possibility that IS and CS are in fact a heterogeneous group of disorders with varied pathogenetic mechanisms. Mouse mutations have proven informative in identifying genes that are important in the development of the musculoskeletal system and provided important mechanistic insights regarding their roles in human disease. We sought to identify candidate genes for human IS and CS by reviewing mouse mutations with phenotypes affecting the axial skeleton. We performed a systematic review using the Mouse Genome Database (MGD), the Genome Database (GDB), and the Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) world-wide-web sites with additional searches performed based on the results of this initial search. We identified approximately 400 mouse mutations, reviewed approximately 250 of these for vertebral phenotypes, assessed 45 of these for synteny conservation between mouse and man, and identified 28 mouse mutations for which 29 credible candidates for human scoliosis could be identified based on mouse phenotypic and mapping data. For each of these, we have synthesized information about the mouse mutant phenotype, mapping data, information regarding molecular pathogenesis when a specific causative gene has been identified, and information regarding plausible candidates based on map position when the causative gene has not been identified. Among these were three loci for which the mutant gene had been identified and the human homologue was known. Some of the mouse mutants have phenotypes similar to human syndromes.