Molecular screening of Smith–Lemli–Opitz syndrome in pregnant women from the Czech Republic
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Smith–Lemli–Opitz syndrome (SLOS) is an autosomal recessive metabolic disorder. SLOS is caused by the mutations in the gene for 3β-hydroxysterol Δ7 reductase (DHCR7; EC 22.214.171.124), which maps to chromosome 11q12-13. DHCR7 catalyses the final step in cholesterol biosynthesis—the reduction of 7-dehydrocholesterol to cholesterol. Clinical severity ranges from mild dysmorphism to severe congenital malformation and intrauterine lethality. Pregnant women are offered a biochemical screening test for Down syndrome in the second trimester, where the suspicion for SLOS could be registered, when the unconjugated estriol (uE3) level appears low. A group of 456 fetuses with a high risk for SLOS were examined by DNA analysis. We confirmed SLOS in 5 fetuses and 11 fetuses were carriers. One novel mutation (p.G30A) was detected. The most frequently found mutations, c.964-1> C and p.W151X, are also the most severe ones. At least one of these mutations was detected in each fetus with SLOS. This suggests that the biochemical screening of pregnant women probably uncovers mainly more severely affected fetuses. We confirmed SLOS also in two patients whose prenatal screening was negative. Both of them had nonsense mutation on one allele. It stands to reason that some modifying factors may play a role in the reduction of the uE3 level in the mother’s serum.
KeywordsDown Syndrome Maternal Serum Prenatal Screening Amniotic Fluid Cell Biochemical Screening
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