An analysis of PAX1 in the development of vertebral malformations
Paired Box Transcription Factors
An analysis of PAX1 in the development of vertebral malformations. Due to the sporadic occurrence of congenital vertebral malformations, traditional linkage approaches to identify genes associated with human vertebral development are not possible. We therefore identified PAX1 as a candidate gene in vertebral malformations and congenital scoliosis due to its mutation in the undulated mouse. We performed DNA sequence analysis of the PAX1 gene in a series of 48 patients with congenital vertebral malformations, collectively spanning the entire vertebral column length. DNA sequence coding variants were identified in the heterozygous state in exon 4 in two male patients with thoracic vertebral malformations. One patient had T9 hypoplasia, T12 hemivertebrae and absent T10 pedicle, incomplete fusion of T7 posterior elements, ventricular septal defect, and polydactyly. This patient had a CCC (Pro)-->CTC (Leu) change at amino acid 410. This variant was not observed in 180 chromosomes tested in the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) database and occurred at a frequency of 0.3% in a diversity panel of 1066 human samples. The second patient had a T11 wedge vertebra and a missense mutation at amino acid 413 corresponding to CCA (Pro)-->CTA (Leu). This particular variant has been reported to occur in one of 164 chromosomes in the NIEHS SNP database and was found to occur with a similar frequency of 0.8% in a diversity panel of 1066 human samples. Although each patient's mother was clinically asymptomatic and heterozygous for the respective variant allele, the possibility that these sequence variants have clinical significance is not excluded.