Heterozygous intragenic loss-of-function mutations of ERF, encoding an ETS transcription factor, were previously reported to cause a novel craniosynostosis syndrome, suggesting that ERF is haploinsufficient. We describe six families harboring heterozygous deletions including, or near to, ERF, of which four were characterized by whole-genome sequencing and two by chromosomal microarray. Based on the severity of associated intellectual disability (ID), we identify three categories of ERF-associated deletions. The smallest (32 kb) and only inherited deletion included two additional centromeric genes and was not associated with ID. Three larger deletions (264-314 kb) that included at least five further centromeric genes were associated with moderate ID, suggesting that deletion of one or more of these five genes causes ID. The individual with the most severe ID had a more telomerically extending deletion, including CIC, a known ID gene. Children found to harbor ERF deletions should be referred for craniofacial assessment, to exclude occult raised intracranial pressure.
CNV, ERF, craniosynostosis, haploinsufficiency, intellectual disability, mosaicism