The phenotypic spectrum of proximal 6q deletions based on a large cohort derived from social media and literature reports

Aafke Engwerda, Barbara Frentz, A Lya den Ouden, Boudien C T Flapper, Morris A Swertz, Erica H Gerkes, Mirjam Plantinga, Trijnie Dijkhuizen, Conny M A van Ravenswaaij-Arts*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

29 Citaten (Scopus)
353 Downloads (Pure)


Proximal 6q (6q11-q15) deletions are extremely rare and little is known about their phenotypic consequences. Since parents and caregivers now use social media to seek information on rare disorders, the Chromosome 6 Project has successfully collaborated with a Facebook group to collect data on individuals worldwide. Here we describe a cohort of 20 newly identified individuals and 25 literature cases with a proximal 6q deletion. Microarray results and phenotype data were reported directly by parents via a multilingual online questionnaire. This led to phenotype descriptions for five subregions of proximal 6q deletions; comparing the subgroups revealed that 6q11q14.1 deletions presented less severe clinical characteristics than 6q14.2q15 deletions. Gastroesophageal reflux, tracheo/laryngo/bronchomalacia, congenital heart defects, cerebral defects, seizures, and vision and respiratory problems were predominant in those with 6q14.2q15 deletions. Problems related to connective tissue (hypermobility, hernias and foot deformities) were predominantly seen in deletions including the COL12A1 gene (6q13). Congenital heart defects could be linked to deletions of MAP3K7 (6q15) or TBX18 (6q14.3). We further discuss the role of ten genes known or assumed to be related to developmental delay and/or autism (BAI3, RIMS1, KCNQ5, HTR1B, PHIP, SYNCRIP, HTR1E, ZNF292, AKIRIN2 and EPHA7). The most influential gene on the neurodevelopmental phenotype seems to be SYNCRIP (6q14.3), while deletions that include more than two of these genes led to more severe developmental delay. We demonstrate that approaching individuals via social media and collecting data directly from parents is a successful strategy, resulting in better information to counsel families.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)1478-1489
Aantal pagina's12
TijdschriftEuropean Journal of Human Genetics
Nummer van het tijdschrift10
Vroegere onlinedatum8-jun.-2018
StatusPublished - okt.-2018


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