TUBB2B codes for one of the isotypes of β-tubulin and dominant negative variants in this gene result in distinctive malformations of cortical development (MCD), including dysgyria, dysmorphic basal ganglia and cerebellar anomalies. We present a novel family with a heterozygous missense variant in TUBB2B and an unusually mild phenotype. First, at 21 [Formula presented] weeks of gestation ultrasonography revealed a fetus with a relatively small head, enlarged lateral ventricles, borderline hypoplastic cerebellum and a thin corpus callosum. The couple opted for pregnancy termination. Exome sequencing on fetal material afterwards identified a heterozygous maternally inherited variant in TUBB2B (NM_178012.4 (TUBB2B):c.530A > T, p.(Asp177Val)), not present in GnomAD and predicted as damaging. The healthy mother had only a language delay in childhood. This inherited TUBB2B variant prompted re-evaluation of the older son of the couple, who presented with a mild delay in motor skills and speech. His MRI revealed mildly enlarged lateral ventricles, a thin corpus callosum, mild cortical dysgyria, and dysmorphic vermis and basal ganglia, a pattern typical of tubulinopathies. This son finally showed the same TUBB2B variant, supporting pathogenicity of the TUBB2B variant. These observations illustrate the wide phenotypic heterogeneity of tubulinopathies, including reduced penetrance and mild expressivity, that require careful evaluation in pre- and postnatal counseling.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. GMSM is chair of the Neuro-MIG, European Network on Brain Malformations, supported by the COST Action CA16118.
© 2021 The Authors