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17q12 deletion (17q12Del) syndrome is a copy number variant (CNV) disorder associated with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) and renal cysts and diabetes syndrome (RCAD). Using CRISPR/Cas9 genome-editing, we generated a mouse model of 17q12Del syndrome on both inbred (C57BL/6N) and outbred (CD-1) genetic backgrounds. On C57BL/6N, the 17q12Del mouse has severe head development defects, potentially mediated by haploinsufficiency of Lhx1, a gene within the interval that controls head development. Phenotypes include brain malformations, particularly disruption of the telencephalon, and craniofacial defects. On the CD-1 background, the 17q12Del mouse survives to adulthood and shows milder craniofacial and brain abnormalities. We report postnatal brain defects using automated MRI-based morphometry. In addition, we demonstrate renal and blood glucose abnormalities relevant to RCAD. On both genetic backgrounds, we found sex-specific presentations, with male 17q12Del mice exhibiting higher penetrance and more severe phenotypes. Results from these experiments pinpoint specific developmental defects and pathways that guide clinical studies and a mechanistic understanding of the human 17q12Del syndrome. This mouse mutant represents the first and only experimental model to date for the 17q12 CNV disorder.

Original publication




Journal article


Dis Model Mech

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17q12, Copy number variants (CNV), Forebrain development, Head development, Neurodevelopmental disorders, Renal cysts and diabetes syndrome (RCAD)