Research Article

Applicability of genetic polymorphism analysis for the diagnosis of Angelman syndrome and the correlation between language difficulties and disease phenotype

Published: June 17, 2016
Genet. Mol. Res. 15(2): gmr7945 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4238/gmr.15027945
Cite this Article:
(2016). Applicability of genetic polymorphism analysis for the diagnosis of Angelman syndrome and the correlation between language difficulties and disease phenotype. Genet. Mol. Res. 15(2): gmr7945. https://doi.org/10.4238/gmr.15027945
1,332 views

Abstract

Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurogenetic disorder caused by a defect in the expression of the maternally inherited ubiquitin protein ligase E3A (UBE3A) gene in chromosome 15. The most common genetic defects include maternal deletions in chromosome 15q11-13; however, paternal uniparental disomy and imprinting defects allow for the identification of mutations in UBE3A in 10% of patients with AS. The aim of this study was to validate the clinical features and genetic polymorphisms of AS, and to discuss the relationship between functional language lateralization and the arcuate fasciculus in the Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas. Six children with AS (mean age = 32.57 months) presenting characteristic behavioral patterns of AS (frequent laughter and happy demeanor, hand flapping, and hypermotor behavior) were recruited to this study. The patients underwent a clinical evaluation (clinical history, dysmorphological and neurological examinations, and psychological evaluations) and paraclinical investigations [genetic tests (fluorescence in situ hybridization and methylation polymerase chain reaction), electroencephalogram, and magnetic resonance imaging]. We conclude that AS diagnosis cannot rely solely on genetic testing for polymorphisms in UBE3A and must consider its clinical characteristics. Moreover, functional language lateralization and the arcuate fasciculus in the Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas were found to be closely correlated. Therefore, UBE3A gene mutation analysis combined with comprehensive clinical evaluations may be suitable for the diagnosis of AS.

Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurogenetic disorder caused by a defect in the expression of the maternally inherited ubiquitin protein ligase E3A (UBE3A) gene in chromosome 15. The most common genetic defects include maternal deletions in chromosome 15q11-13; however, paternal uniparental disomy and imprinting defects allow for the identification of mutations in UBE3A in 10% of patients with AS. The aim of this study was to validate the clinical features and genetic polymorphisms of AS, and to discuss the relationship between functional language lateralization and the arcuate fasciculus in the Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas. Six children with AS (mean age = 32.57 months) presenting characteristic behavioral patterns of AS (frequent laughter and happy demeanor, hand flapping, and hypermotor behavior) were recruited to this study. The patients underwent a clinical evaluation (clinical history, dysmorphological and neurological examinations, and psychological evaluations) and paraclinical investigations [genetic tests (fluorescence in situ hybridization and methylation polymerase chain reaction), electroencephalogram, and magnetic resonance imaging]. We conclude that AS diagnosis cannot rely solely on genetic testing for polymorphisms in UBE3A and must consider its clinical characteristics. Moreover, functional language lateralization and the arcuate fasciculus in the Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas were found to be closely correlated. Therefore, UBE3A gene mutation analysis combined with comprehensive clinical evaluations may be suitable for the diagnosis of AS.

About the Authors