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Craniosynostosis (CS) is a major birth defect in which one or more skull sutures fuse prematurely. We previously performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for sagittal non-syndromic CS (sNCS), identifying associations downstream from BMP2 on 20p12.3 and intronic to BBS9 on 7p14.3; analyses of imputed variants in DLG1 on 3q29 were also genome-wide significant. We followed this work with a GWAS for metopic non-syndromic NCS (mNCS), discovering a significant association intronic to BMP7 on 20q13.31. In the current study, we sequenced the associated regions on 3q29, 7p14.3, and 20p12.3, including two candidate genes (BMP2 and BMPER) near some of these regions in 83 sNCS child-parent trios, and sequenced regions on 7p14.3 and 20q13.2-q13.32 in 80 mNCS child-parent trios. These child-parent trios were selected from the original GWAS cohorts if the probands carried at least one copy of the top associated GWAS variant (rs1884302 C allele for sNCS; rs6127972 T allele for mNCS). Many of the variants sequenced in these targeted regions are strongly predicted to be within binding sites for transcription factors involved in craniofacial development or bone morphogenesis. Variants enriched in more than one trio and predicted to be damaging to gene function are prioritized for functional studies.

Original publication




Journal article





Publication Date





816 - 816