Dyskeratosis congenita with a novel genetic variant
Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is a rare genetic disorder of bone marrow failure inherited in an X-linked, autosomal dominant or autosomal recessive pattern. It has a wide array of clinical features and patients may be cared for by many medical sub specialties. Several genes have been implicated in the pathogenesis of dyskeratosis congenita, with the dyskerin pseudouridine synthase 1 (DKC1) gene mutations being the X-linked recessive gene.

Published in BMC medical genetics, the authors report a case of a 31-year-old male with history of recurrent febrile episodes who was found to have reticulate skin pigmentation interspersed with hypopigmented macules involving the face, neck and extremities, hyperkeratosis of palms and soles, nail dystrophy, leukoplakia of the tongue, premature graying of hair, watery eyes and dental caries.

Several of his male relatives, including two maternal uncles and three maternal cousins were affected with a similar type of disease condition. Pedigree analysis suggested a possible X-linked pattern of inheritance. Genetic testing in the proband showed a novel hemizygous, non-synonymous likely pathogenic variant [NM_001363.4: c.1054A > G: p.Thr352Ala] in the PUA domain of the DKC1 gene.

Quantitative polymerase chain reaction for relative telomere length measurements performed in the proband showed that he had very short telomeres [0.38, compared to a control median of 0.71 (range 0.44–1.19)], which is consistent with the DC diagnosis.

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