Variable expressivity of the beckwith-wiedemann syndrome in four pedigrees segregating loss-of-function variants of cdkn1c

Angela Sparago, Flavia Cerrato, Laura Pignata, Francisco Cammarata-Scalisi, Livia Garavelli, Carmelo Piscopo, Alessandra Vancini, Andrea Riccio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) is an imprinting disorder characterized by prenatal and/or postnatal overgrowth, organomegaly, abdominal wall defects and tumor predisposition. CDKN1C is a maternally expressed gene of the 11p15.5 chromosomal region and is regulated by the imprinting control region IC2. It negatively controls cellular proliferation, and its expression or activity are frequently reduced in BWS. In particular, loss of IC2 methylation is associated with CDKN1C silencing in the majority of sporadic BWS cases, and maternally inherited loss-of-function variants of CDKN1C are the most frequent molecular defects of familial BWS. We have identified, using Sanger sequencing, novel CDKN1C variants in three families with recurrent cases of BWS, and a previously reported variant in a woman with recurrent miscarriages with exomphalos. Clinical evaluation of the patients showed variable manifestation of the disease. The frameshift and nonsense variants were consistently associated with exomphalos, while the missense variant caused a less severe phenotype. Pregnancy loss and perinatal lethality were found in the families segregating nonsense mutations. Intrafamilial variability of the clinical BWS features was observed, even between siblings. Our data are indicative of severe BWS phenotypes that, with variable expressivity, may be associated with both frameshift and nonsense variants of CDKN1C.

Original languageEnglish
Article number706
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome
  • CDKN1C
  • Exomphalos
  • Genomic imprinting
  • Loss-of-function mutations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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