Published on Jan. 1, 2015 in Genome Biol volume 16.
PubMed ID: 26416026
BACKGROUND: Primordial dwarfism is a state of extreme prenatal and postnatal growth deficiency, and is characterized by marked clinical and genetic heterogeneity. RESULTS: Two presumably unrelated consanguineous families presented with an apparently novel form of primordial dwarfism in which severe growth deficiency is accompanied by distinct facial dysmorphism, brain malformation (microcephaly, agenesis of corpus callosum, and simplified gyration), and severe encephalopathy with seizures. Combined autozygome/exome analysis revealed a novel missense mutation in WDR4 as the likely causal variant. WDR4 is the human ortholog of the yeast Trm82, an essential component of the Trm8/Trm82 holoenzyme that effects a highly conserved and specific (m(7)G46) methylation of tRNA. The human mutation and the corresponding yeast mutation result in a significant reduction of m(7)G46 methylation of specific tRNA species, which provides a potential mechanism for primordial dwarfism associated with this lesion, since reduced m(7)G46 modification causes a growth deficiency phenotype in yeast. CONCLUSION: Our study expands the number of biological pathways underlying primordial dwarfism and adds to a growing list of human diseases linked to abnormal tRNA modification.