Variants have been identified in the embryonic ectoderm development (EED) gene in seven patients with syndromic overgrowth similar to that observed in Weaver syndrome. Here, we present three additional patients with missense variants in the EED gene. All the missense variants reported to date (including the three presented here) have localized to one of seven WD40 domains of the EED protein, which are necessary for interaction with enhancer of zeste 2 polycomb repressive complex 2 subunit (EZH2). In addition, among the seven patients reported in the literature and the three new patients presented here, all of the reported pathogenic variants except one occurred at one of four amino acid residues in the EED protein. The recurrence of pathogenic variation at these loci suggests that these residues are functionally important (mutation hotspots). In silico modeling and calculations of the free energy changes resulting from these variants suggested that they not only destabilize the EED protein structure but also adversely affect interactions between EED, EZH2, and/or H3K27me3. These cases help demonstrate the mechanism(s) by which apparently deleterious variants in the EED gene might cause overgrowth and lend further support that amino acid residues in the WD40 domain region may be mutation hotspots.
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We thank the patients and their families for their participation in this study. We also recognize the contributions of our laboratory staff and the clinical team at the Greenwood Genetic Center for their considerable efforts.
Conflict of interest
The Greenwood Genetic Center receives revenue from diagnostic testing performed in the GGC Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory.
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