Mutations in FOXC2 (MFH-1), a forkhead family transcription factor, are responsible for the hereditary lymphedema-distichiasis syndrome

American Journal of Human Genetics
J FangT W Glover


Lymphedema-distichiasis (LD) is an autosomal dominant disorder that classically presents as lymphedema of the limbs, with variable age at onset, and double rows of eyelashes (distichiasis). Other complications may include cardiac defects, cleft palate, extradural cysts, and photophobia, suggesting a defect in a gene with pleiotrophic effects acting during development. We previously reported neonatal lymphedema, similar to that in Turner syndrome, associated with a t(Y;16)(q12;q24.3) translocation. A candidate gene was not found on the Y chromosome, and we directed our efforts toward the chromosome 16 breakpoint. Subsequently, a gene for LD was mapped, by linkage studies, to a 16-cM region at 16q24.3. By FISH, we determined that the translocation breakpoint was within this critical region and further narrowed the breakpoint to a 20-kb interval. Because the translocation did not appear to interrupt a gene, we considered candidate genes in the immediate region that might be inactivated by position effect. In two additional unrelated families with LD, we identified inactivating mutations-a nonsense mutation and a frameshift mutation-in the FOXC2 (MFH-1) gene. FOXC2 is a member of the forkhead/winged-helix family of transcription fa...Continue Reading


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