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Background: Tourette syndrome (TS) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder (NDD) characterized by multiple chronic involuntary motor and vocal tics with onset during childhood or adolescence. Most TS patients present with additional comorbidities, typically attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive- compulsive disorder (OCD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability (ID). Both TS and ID are genetically complex disorders that likely occur as a result of the effects of multiple genes interacting with other environmental factors. In addition to single gene mutations and chromosomal disorders, copy number variations (CNVs) are implicated across many NDDs and ID and contribute to their shared genetic etiology. Screening of CNVs using microarray-based Comparative Genomic Hybridization (aCGH) is now routinely performed in all subjects with NDD and ID. Case presentation: We report a case of a 12-year-old girl diagnosed with Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome associated to behavior disorders and intellectual disability in particular with regard to language. Array-CGH analysis showed a CNV of a subtelomeric region Xq28 (gain of 260 kb) inherited from the healthy father. The duplication contains two genes, VAMP7 and SPRY3 of the PAR2 pseudoautosomal region. FISH analysis revealed that the duplicated segment is located on the short arm of a chromosome 13, resulting in a trisomy of the region. In the proband the expression levels of the genes evaluated in the peripheral blood sample are comparable both those of the mother and to those of female control subjects. Conclusions: Although the trisomy of the 260 kb region from Xq28 identified in proband is also shared by the healthy father, it is tantalizing to speculate that, together with genetic risk factors inherited from the mother, it may play a role in the development of a form of Tourette syndrome with intellectual disability. This hypothesis is also supported by the fact that both genes present in the duplicated region (VAMP7 and SPRY3) are expressed in the CNS and are implicated in neurotransmission and neurite growth and branching. In addition, similar CNVs have been identified in individuals whose phenotype is associated with autism spectrum disorders or intellectual disability.
Maccarini, S., Cipani, A., Bertini, V., Skripac, J., Salvi, A., Borsani, G., & Marchina, E. (2020). Inherited duplication of the pseudoautosomal region Xq28 in a subject with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome and intellectual disability: A case report. Molecular Cytogenetics, 13(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13039-020-00493-3