Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS) is a recessive disorder characterized by heterogeneous clinical manifestations, including truncal obesity, rod-cone dystrophy, renal anomalies, postaxial polydactyly, and variable developmental delays. At least 20 genes have been implicated in BBS, and all are involved in primary cilia function. We report a 1-year-old male child from Guyana with obesity, postaxial polydactyly on his right foot, hypotonia, ophthalmologic abnormalities, and developmental delay, which together indicated a clinical diagnosis of BBS. Clinical chromosomal microarray (CMA) testing and high-throughput BBS gene panel sequencing detected a homozygous 7p14.3 deletion of exons 1-4 of BBS9 that was encompassed by a 17.5?Mb region of homozygosity at chromosome 7p14.2-p21.1. The precise breakpoints of the deletion were delineated to a 72.8?kb region in the proband and carrier parents by third-generation long-read single molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing (Pacific Biosciences), which suggested non-homologous end joining as a likely mechanism of formation. Long-read SMRT sequencing of the deletion breakpoints also determined that the aberration included the neighboring RP9 gene implicated in retinitis pigmentosa; however, the clinical significance of this was considered uncertain given the paucity of reported cases with unambiguous RP9 mutations. Taken together, our study characterized a BBS9 deletion, and the identification of this shared haplotype in the parents suggests that this pathogenic aberration may be a BBS founder mutation in the Guyanese population. Importantly, this informative case also highlights the utility of long-read SMRT sequencing to map nucleotide breakpoints of clinically relevant structural variants.
Journal: NPJ Genomic Medicine