Here we report the smallest deletion involving SNURF/SNRPN that causes major symptoms of Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), including hypotonia, dysmorphic features, intellectual disability, and obesity. A female patient with the aforementioned and additional features was referred to the Mayo Clinic Cytogenetics laboratory for genetic testing. Chromosomal microarray analysis and subsequent Sanger sequencing identified a de novo 6.4 kb deletion at 15q11.2, containing exon 1 of the SNURF gene and exon 1 of the shortest isoform of the SNRPN gene. SNURF/SNRPN exon 1, which is methylated on the silent maternal allele, is associated with acetylated histones on the expressed paternal allele. This region also overlaps with the PWS-imprinting center (IC). Subsequent molecular methylation analysis was performed using methylation-specific MLPA (MS-MLPA), which characterized that the deletion of SNURF/SNRPN exon 1 was paternal in origin, consistent with the PWS-like phenotype. Since SNURF/SNRPN gene and the PWS-IC are known to regulate snoRNAs, it is likely that the PWS-like phenotype observed in patients with paternal SNURF/SNRPN deletion is due to the disrupted expression of SNORD116 snoRNAs.
- Chromosomal microarray
- Prader-Willi syndrome