Developmental delay with hypotrophy associated with homozygous functionally relevant REV3L variant


REV3L encodes a catalytic subunit of DNA polymerase zeta (Pol zeta) which is essential for the tolerance of DNA damage by inducing translesion synthesis (TLS). So far, the only Mendelian disease associated with REV3L was Moebius syndrome (3 patients with dominant REV3L mutations causing monoallelic loss-of-function were reported). We describe a homozygous ultra-rare REV3L variant (T2753R) identified with whole exome sequencing in a child without Moebius syndrome but with developmental delay, hypotrophy, and dysmorphic features who was born to healthy parents (heterozygous carriers of the variant). The variant affects the amino acid adjacent to functionally important KKRY motif. By introducing an equivalent mutation (S1192R) into the REV3 gene in yeasts, we showed that, whereas it retained residual function, it caused clear dysfunction of TLS in the nucleus and instability of mitochondrial genetic information. In particular, the mutation increased UV sensitivity measured by cell survival, decreased both the spontaneous (P < 0.005) and UV-induced (P < 0.0001) mutagenesis rates of nuclear DNA and increased the UV-induced mutagenesis rates of mitochondrial DNA (P < 0.0005). We propose that our proband is the first reported case of a REV3L associated disease different from Moebius syndrome both in terms of clinical manifestations and inheritance (autosomal recessive rather than dominant).

Key messages

  • First description of a human recessive disorder associated with a REV3L variant.

  • A study in yeast showed that the variant affected the enzymatic function of the protein.

  • In particular, it caused increased UV sensitivity and abnormal mutagenesis rates.

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Data availability

Raw data from WES analysis is available on request.


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This work was supported by the Polish National Science Center Grant 2017/25/B/NZ3/01811 to A. K-G.

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Correspondence to Ewa Sledziewska-Gojska or Rafał Płoski.

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Supplementary Fig. 1.

Photographs of the patient. (PNG 3223 kb)

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Supplementary material 2

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Halas, A., Fijak-Moskal, J., Kuberska, R. et al. Developmental delay with hypotrophy associated with homozygous functionally relevant REV3L variant. J Mol Med 99, 415–423 (2021).

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  • REV3L
  • DNA polymerase zeta
  • UV sensitivity
  • Mutagenesis
  • Mitochondrial DNA stability