Cleidocranial dysplasia (CCD) is a dominantly inherited skeletal dysplasia caused by mutations in the osteoblast-specific transcription factor CBFA1. To correlate CBFA1 mutations in different functional domains with the CCD clinical spectrum, we studied 26 independent cases of CCD and a total of 16 new mutations were identified in 17 families. The majority of mutations were de novo missense mutations that affected conserved residues in the runt domain and completely abolished both DNA binding and transactivation of a reporter gene. These, and mutations which result in premature termination in the runt domain, produced a classic CCD phenotype by abolishing transactivation of the mutant protein with consequent haploinsufficiency. We further identified three putative hypomorphic mutations (R391X, T200A and 90insC) which result in a clinical spectrum including classic and mild CCD, as well as an isolated dental phenotype characterized by delayed eruption of permanent teeth. Functional studies show that two of the three mutations were hypomorphic in nature and two were associated with significant intrafamilial variable expressivity, including isolated dental anomalies without the skeletal features of CCD. Together these data show that variable loss of function due to alterations in the runt and PST domains of CBFA1 may give rise to clinical variability, including classic CCD, mild CCD and isolated primary dental anomalies.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We are grateful to Rossi Dawn for editorial assistance. This work was supported, in part, by National Institutes of Health grants AR44738 (B.L.) and AR 45548 (G.K.), the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation (B.L. and G.K.), the Arthritis Foundation (B.L.) and Baylor College of Medicine Child Health Research Center and Mental Retardation Research Center (B.L.). G.Z. is the recipient of a post-doctoral fellowship from the Arthritis Foundation.