Re-analysis of whole genome sequencing ends a diagnostic odyssey: Case report of an RNU4-2 related neurodevelopmental disorder

Rachel Schot, Federico Ferraro, Geert Geeven, Karin E.M. Diderich*, Tahsin Stefan Barakat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Despite increasing knowledge of disease-causing genes in human genetics, approximately half of the individuals affected by neurodevelopmental disorders remain genetically undiagnosed. Part of this missing heritability might be caused by genetic variants outside of protein-coding genes, which are not routinely diagnostically investigated. A recent preprint identified de novo variants in the non-coding spliceosomal snRNA gene RNU4-2 as a cause of a frequent novel syndromic neurodevelopmental disorder. Here we mined 164 whole genome sequencing (WGS) trios from individuals with neurodevelopmental or multiple congenital anomaly disorders that received diagnostic genomic investigations at our clinic. We identify a recurrent de novo RNU4-2 variant (NR_003137.2(RNU4-2):n.64_65insT) in a 5-year-old girl with severe global developmental delay, hypotonia, microcephaly, and seizures that likely explains her phenotype, given that extensive previous genetic investigations failed to identify an alternative cause. We present detailed phenotyping of the individual obtained during a 5-year follow-up. This includes photographs showing recognizable facial features for this novel disorder, which might allow prioritizing other currently unexplained affected individuals sharing similar facial features for targeted investigations of RNU4-2. This case illustrates the power of re-analysis to solve previously unexplained cases even when a diagnostic genome remains negative.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Genetics
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Jun 2024

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© 2024 The Author(s). Clinical Genetics published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


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