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DNA methylation profiling and genomic analysis in 20 children with short stature who were born small for gestational age

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Purpose: In a significant proportion of children born small for gestational age (SGA) with failure of catch-up growth, the etiology of short stature remains unclear after routine diagnostic workup. We wanted to investigate if extensive analysis of the (epi)genome can unravel the cause of growth failure in a significant portion of these children. Patients and Methods: Twenty SGA children treated with GH because of short stature were selected from the BELGROW database of the Belgian Society for Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology for exome sequencing, single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array and genome-wide methylation analysis to identify the (epi)genetic cause. First-year response to GH was compared with the response of SGA patients in the KIGS database. Results: We identified (likely) pathogenic variants in 4 children (from 3 families) using exome sequencing and found pathogenic copy number variants in 2 probands using SNP array. In a child harboring a NSD1-containing microduplication, we identified a DNA methylation signature that is opposite to the genome-wide DNA methylation signature of Sotos syndrome. Moreover, we observed multilocus imprinting disturbances in 2 children in whom no other genomic alteration could be identified. Five of 6 children with a genetic diagnosis had an "above average" response to GH. Conclusions: The study indicates that a more advanced approach with deep genotyping can unravel unexpected (epi)genomic alterations in SGA children with persistent growth failure. Most SGA children with a genetic diagnosis had a good response to GH treatment.
Journal: The journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
ISSN: 0021-972X
Volume: 105