Expanding the genotypic spectrum of TXNL4A variants in Burn-McKeown syndrome

William Newman, Katherine Wood, Raymond O'Keefe, Jamie Ellingford, Huw Thomas, Sofia Douzgou, Glenda Beaman, Emma Hobson, Katrina Prescott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The developmental disorder Burn-McKeown Syndrome (BMKS) is characterised by choanal atresia and specific craniofacial features. BMKS is caused by biallelic variants in the pre-messenger RNA splicing factor TXNL4A. Most patients have a loss-of-function variant in trans with a 34-base pair (bp) deletion (type 1 Δ34) in the promoter region. Here, we identified two patients with BMKS. One individual has a TXNL4A c.93_94delCC, p.His32Argfs*21 variant combined with a type 1 Δ34 promoter deletion. The other has an intronic TXNL4A splice site variant (c.258-3C>G) and a type 1 Δ34 promoter deletion. We show the c.258-3C>G variant, and a previously reported c.258-2A>G variant, cause skipping of the final exon of TXNL4A in a minigene splicing assay. Furthermore, we identify putative transcription factor binding sites within the 56bp of the TXNL4A promoter affected by the type 1 and type 2 Δ34 and use dual luciferase assays to identify a 22bp repeated motif essential for TXNL4A expression within this promoter region. We propose that additional variants affecting critical transcription factor binding nucleotides within the 22bp repeated motif could be relevant to BMKS etiology. Finally, our data emphasizes the need to analyse the non-coding sequence in individuals where a single likely pathogenic coding variant is identified in an autosomal recessive disorder consistent with the clinical presentation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 255-259
JournalClinical Genetics
Issue number2
Early online date29 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


  • Rare Disease
  • splicing
  • burn mckeown syndrome
  • TNXL4A


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