Identification of a novel transcript disrupted by a balanced translocation associated with DiGeorge syndrome.
Sutherland HF., Wadey R., McKie JM., Taylor C., Atif U., Johnstone KA., Halford S., Kim UJ., Goodship J., Baldini A., Scambler PJ.
Most cases of DiGeorge syndrome (DGS) and related abnormalities are associated with deletions within 22q11. Shortest region of deletion overlap (SRO) mapping previously identified a critical region (the DGCR) of 500 kb, which was presumed to contain a gene or genes of major effect in the haploinsufficiency syndromes. The DGCR also contains sequences disrupted by a balanced translocation that is associated with DGS--the ADU breakpoint. We have cloned sequences at the breakpoint and screened for novel genes in its vicinity. A series of alternatively spliced transcripts expressed during human and murine embryogenesis, but with no obvious protein encoding potential, were identified. The gene encoding these RNAs has been named DGCR5 and it is disrupted by the patient ADU breakpoint. DGCR5 is distinct from the DGCR3 open reading frame (ORF) previously shown to be interrupted by the ADU translocation, although DGCR3 is embedded within a DGCR5 intron and in the same (predicted) transcriptional orientation. No mutations of DGCR5 have yet been detected. By analogy to other loci encoding conserved, nontranslated RNAs, it is possible that DGCR5 originates from a cis-acting transcriptional control element in the vicinity of the ADU/VDU breakpoint. Disruption of such an element would result in altered transcription of neighboring genes secondary to a position effect, a hypothesis in keeping with recent refinement of the SRO placing the ADU breakpoint outside the DGCR.