Point mutation in the MITF gene causing Waardenburg syndrome type II in a three-generation indian family

Anil K. Lalwani, Ali Attaie, Frederick T. Randolph, Dilip Deshmukh, Cynthia Wang, Anand Mhatre, Edward Wilcox

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25 Scopus citations


Waardenburg syndrome (WS) is an autosomal-dominant neural crest cell disorder phenotypically characterized by hearing impairment and disturbance of pigmentation. A presence of dystopia canthorum is indicative of WS type 1, caused by loss of function mutation in the PAX3 gene. In contrast, type 2 WS (WS2) is characterized by normally placed medial canthi and is genetically heterogeneous; mutations in MITF (microphthalmia associated transcription factor) associated with WS2 have been identified in some but not all affected families. Here, we report on a three-generation Indian family with a point mutation in the MITF gene causing WS2. This mutation, initially reported in a Northern European family, creates a stop codon in exon 7 and is predicted to result in a truncated protein lacking the HLH-Zip or Zip structure necessary for normal interaction with its target DNA motif. Comparison of the phenotype between the two families demonstrates a significant difference in pigmentary disturbance of the eye. This family, with the first documented case of two unrelated WS2 families harboring identical mutations, provides additional evidence for the importance of genetic background on the clinical phenotype.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-409
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • ARMS
  • Deafness
  • MITF
  • PAX3
  • Transcription factor
  • Waardenburg syndrome


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