Isolation of a zinc finger gene consistently deleted in DiGeorge syndrome
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DiGeorge syndrome is a human developmental disorder resulting in hypoplasia of the thymus and parathyroids, and conotruncal heart defects. We recently isolated four genes with zinc finger DNA binding motifs mapping to chromosome 22q11.2 DiGeorge critical region. We now report that one of them, ZNF74 gene, is hemizygously deleted in 23 out of 24 DiGeorge syndrome patients tested. ZNF74 mRNA transcripts are detected in human and mouse embryos but not in adult tissues. Sequence analysis of a corresponding cDNA reveals an an open reading frame encoding 12 zinc finger motifs of the Kruppel/TFIIIA type as well as N-terminal and C-terminal non-zinc finger domains. These results suggest that changes in the dosage of a putative transcription factor through ZNF74 hemizygous deletion may be critical for DiGeorge developmental anomalies.
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