Three congenital disorders, cat-eye syndrome (CES), der(22) syndrome, and velo-cardio-facial syndrome/ DiGeorge syndrome (VCFS/DGS), result from tetrasomy, trisomy, and monosomy, respectively, of part of 22q11. They share a 1.5-Mb region of overlap, which contains 24 known genes. Although the region has been sequenced and extensively analyzed, it is expected to contain additional genes, which have thus far escaped identification. To understand completely the molecular etiology of VCFS/DGS, der(22) syndrome, and CES, it is essential to isolate all genes in the interval. We have identified and characterized a novel human gene, located within the 1.5-Mb region deleted in VCFS/DGS, trisomic in der(22) syndrome and tetrasomic in CES. The deduced amino acid sequence of the human gene and its mouse homologue contain several WD40 repeats, but lack homology to known proteins. We termed this gene WDR14 (WD40 repeat-containing gene deleted in VCFS). It is expressed in a variety of human and mouse adult and fetal tissues with substantial expression levels in the adult thymus, an organ hypoplastic in VCFS/DGS.
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