Purpose: HOXD13 is an important regulator of limb development. Pathogenic variants in HOXD13 cause synpolydactyly type 1 (SPD1). How different types and positions of HOXD13 variants contribute to genotype-phenotype correlations, penetrance, and expressivity of SPD1 remains elusive. Here, we present a novel cohort and a literature review to elucidate HOXD13 phenotype-genotype correlations. Methods: Patients with limb anomalies suggestive of SPD1 were selected for analysis of HOXD13 by Sanger sequencing, repeat length analysis, and next-generation sequencing. Literature was reviewed for HOXD13 heterozygotes. Variants were annotated for phenotypic data. Severity was calculated, and cluster and decision-tree analyses were performed. Results: We identified 98 affected members of 38 families featuring 11 different (likely) causative variants and 4 variants of uncertain significance. The most frequent (25/38) were alanine repeat expansions. Phenotypes ranged from unaffected heterozygotes to severe osseous synpolydactyly, with intra- and inter-familial heterogeneity and asymmetry. A literature review provided 160 evaluable affected members of 49 families with SPD1. Computer-aided analysis only corroborated a positive correlation between alanine repeat length and phenotype severity. Conclusion: Our findings support that HOXD13-protein condensation in addition to haploinsufficiency is the molecular pathomechanism of SPD1. Our data may, also, facilitate the interpretation of synpolydactyly radiographs by future automated tools.
Research Areas and Centers
- Research Area: Medical Genetics