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GLI3 encodes a zinc finger transcription factor that plays a role in the sonic hedgehog pathway. Germline pathogenic GLI3 variants are associated with Greig cephalopolysyndactyly and Pallister-Hall syndromes, two syndromes involving brain malformation and polydactyly. We identified patients with pathogenic GLI3 variants and brain malformations in the absence of polydactyly or other skeletal malformation. Two patients were identified. Patient #1 is a 4-year-old boy with hypotonia and global developmental delay. Brain MRI showed a focal cortical dysplasia, but he had no history of seizures. Genetic testing identified a de novo likely pathogenic GLI3 variant: c.4453A>T, p.Asn1485Tyr. Patient #2 is a 4-year-old boy with hypotonia, macrocephaly, and global developmental delay. His brain MRI showed partial agenesis of the corpus callosum, dilatation of the right lateral ventricle, and absent hippocampal commissure. Genetic testing identified a de novo pathogenic GLI3 variant: c.4236_4237del, p.Gln1414AspfsTer21. Neither patient had polydactyly or any apparent skeletal abnormality. These patients widen the spectrum of clinical features that may be associated with GLI3 pathogenic variants to include hypotonia, focal cortical dysplasia, and other brain malformations, in the absence of apparent skeletal malformation. Further study is needed to determine if GLI3 pathogenic variants are a more common cause of focal cortical dysplasia or corpus callosum agenesis than presently recognized. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Lyna Siafa, Emanuela Argilli, Elliott H Sherr, Kenneth A Myers. De Novo GLI3 Pathogenic Variants May Cause Hypotonia and a Range of Brain Malformations Without Skeletal Abnormalities. Pediatric neurology. 2022 Jun;131:1-3

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PMID: 35436645

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