Diagnostic Exome Sequencing to Elucidate the Genetic Basis of Likely Recessive Disorders in Consanguineous Families

Periklis Makrythanasis, Mari Nelis, Federico A. Santoni, Michel Guipponi, Anne Vannier, Frédérique Béna, Stefania Gimelli, Elisavet Stathaki, Samia Temtamy, André Mégarbané, Amira Masri, Mona S. Aglan, Maha S. Zaki, Armand Bottani, Siv Fokstuen, Lorraine Gwanmesia, Konstantinos Aliferis, Mariana Bustamante Eduardo, Georgios Stamoulis, Stavroula PsoniSofia Kitsiou-Tzeli, Helen Fryssira, Emmanouil Kanavakis, Nasir Al-Allawi, Abdelaziz Sefiani, Sana' Al Hait, Siham C. Elalaoui, Nadine Jalkh, Lihadh Al-Gazali, Fatma Al-Jasmi, Habiba Chaabouni Bouhamed, Ebtesam Abdalla, David N. Cooper, Hanan Hamamy, Stylianos E. Antonarakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


Rare, atypical, and undiagnosed autosomal-recessive disorders frequently occur in the offspring of consanguineous couples. Current routine diagnostic genetic tests fail to establish a diagnosis in many cases. We employed exome sequencing to identify the underlying molecular defects in patients with unresolved but putatively autosomal-recessive disorders in consanguineous families and postulated that the pathogenic variants would reside within homozygous regions. Fifty consanguineous families participated in the study, with a wide spectrum of clinical phenotypes suggestive of autosomal-recessive inheritance, but with no definitive molecular diagnosis. DNA samples from the patient(s), unaffected sibling(s), and the parents were genotyped with a 720K SNP array. Exome sequencing and array CGH (comparative genomic hybridization) were then performed on one affected individual per family. High-confidence pathogenic variants were found in homozygosity in known disease-causing genes in 18 families (36%) (one by array CGH and 17 by exome sequencing), accounting for the clinical phenotype in whole or in part. In the remainder of the families, no causative variant in a known pathogenic gene was identified. Our study shows that exome sequencing, in addition to being a powerful diagnostic tool, promises to rapidly expand our knowledge of rare genetic Mendelian disorders and can be used to establish more detailed causative links between mutant genotypes and clinical phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1203-1210
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Mutation
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2014


  • Consanguinity
  • Exome sequencing
  • High-throughput sequencing
  • Homozygosity mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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