Mutational analysis of HOXA2 and SIX2 in a Bronx population with isolated microtia

Dennis C. Monks, Arthee Jahangir, Alan L. Shanske, Joy Samanich, Bernice E. Morrow, Melanie Babcock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective: Microtia is a developmental malformation of the external ear with genetic and environmental causes. The prevalence of microtia varies but several studies suggest increased incidence in Hispanic and African American populations. No causal genetic mutations have been identified in these populations. Mutations in the homeobox gene HOXA2 caused microtia in a single Iranian family. Another homeobox gene, SIX2, acts downstream of HOXA2 during development and provides another possible candidate for mutational analysis. Methods: To determine whether mutations in HOXA2 or SIX2 cause sporadic microtia, DNA sequencing analysis was performed on exons in both genes in 8 patients of Hispanic and African descent in the Bronx. Identified variants were assayed in an additional 4 patients and 100 Hispanic control samples using Sequenom MassArray to rule out causality in heterozygous patients. Results: No mutations were identified in the coding sequence of HOXA2 or SIX2. Four novel single nucleotide variants were identified among the patient samples. These variants lie in the intron and 3' UTR of HOXA2 and the 5' and 3' UTRs of SIX2. One variant in the intron of HOXA2 lies in a conserved predicted transcription factor binding site for SMARCA3. All four variants are also present at >5% frequency in Hispanic control samples, ruling out these novel variations as causal. Conclusions: Lack of mutations in the coding regions of HOXA2 or SIX2 among the sporadic microtia patients studied indicate different etiologies. Identification of four novel single nucleotide polymorphisms in patients and controls of Hispanic descent, but not of Caucasian populations, points to genetic diversity in an understudied population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)878-882
Number of pages5
JournalInternational journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Anotia
  • Aural atresia
  • HOXA2
  • Microtia
  • SIX2
  • Snp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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