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A couple was referred for genetic counseling because they wanted to know the chances of having a child with dwarfism. Both the man and the woman had achondroplasia (MIM 100800), the most common form of short-limbed dwarfism. The couple knew that this condition is inherited as an autosomal dominant trait, but they were unsure what kind of physical manifestations a child would have if it inherited both mutant alleles. They were each heterozygous for the FGFR3 (MIM 134934) allele that causes achondroplasia. Normally, the protein encoded by this gene interacts with growth factors outside the cell and receives signals that control growth and development. In achrodroplasia, a mutation alters the activity of the receptor, resulting in a characteristic form of dwarfism. Because both the normal and mutant forms of the FGFR3 protein act before birth, no treatment for achrondroplasia is available. The parents each carry one normal allele and one mutant allele of FGRF3 , and they wanted information on their chances of having a homozygous child. The counsellor briefly reviewed the phenotypic features of individuals with achondroplasia. These include facial features (large head with prominent forehead; small, flat nasal bridge; and prominent jaw), very short stature, and shortening of the arms and legs. Physical examination and skeletal X-ray films are used to diagnose this condition. Final adult height is approximately 4 feet. Because achondroplasia is an autosomal dominant condition, a heterozygote has a 1-in-2, or 50%, chance of passing this trait to his or her offspring. However, about 75% of those with achondroplasia have parents of average size who do not carry the mutant allele. In these cases, achondroplasia is due to a new mutation. In the couple being counseled, each individual is heterozygous, and they are at risk for having a homozygous child with two copies of the mutated gene. Infants with homozygous achondroplasia are either stillborn or die shortly after birth. The counselor recommended prenatal diagnosis via ultrasounds at various stages of development. In addition, a DNA test is available to detect the homozygous condition prenatally. Should the parents be concerned about the heterozygous condition as well as the homozygous mutant condition?

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Human Heredity: Principles and Iss...

11th Edition
Michael Cummings
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781305251052

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Human Heredity: Principles and Iss...

11th Edition
Michael Cummings
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781305251052
Chapter 10, Problem 2CS
Textbook Problem
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A couple was referred for genetic counseling because they wanted to know the chances of having a child with dwarfism. Both the man and the woman had achondroplasia (MIM 100800), the most common form of short-limbed dwarfism. The couple knew that this condition is inherited as an autosomal dominant trait, but they were unsure what kind of physical manifestations a child would have if it inherited both mutant alleles. They were each heterozygous for the FGFR3 (MIM 134934) allele that causes achondroplasia. Normally, the protein encoded by this gene interacts with growth factors outside the cell and receives signals that control growth and development. In achrodroplasia, a mutation alters the activity of the receptor, resulting in a characteristic form of dwarfism. Because both the normal and mutant forms of the FGFR3 protein act before birth, no treatment for achrondroplasia is available.

The parents each carry one normal allele and one mutant allele of FGRF3, and they wanted information on their chances of having a homozygous child. The counsellor briefly reviewed the phenotypic features of individuals with achondroplasia. These include facial features (large head with prominent forehead; small, flat nasal bridge; and prominent jaw), very short stature, and shortening of the arms and legs. Physical examination and skeletal X-ray films are used to diagnose this condition. Final adult height is approximately 4 feet.

Because achondroplasia is an autosomal dominant condition, a heterozygote has a 1-in-2, or 50%, chance of passing this trait to his or her offspring. However, about 75% of those with achondroplasia have parents of average size who do not carry the mutant allele. In these cases, achondroplasia is due to a new mutation. In the couple being counseled, each individual is heterozygous, and they are at risk for having a homozygous child with two copies of the mutated gene. Infants with homozygous achondroplasia are either stillborn or die shortly after birth. The counselor recommended prenatal diagnosis via ultrasounds at various stages of development. In addition, a DNA test is available to detect the homozygous condition prenatally.

Should the parents be concerned about the heterozygous condition as well as the homozygous mutant condition?

Summary Introduction

To explain: Whether the parents should be concerned about the heterozygous condition as well as the homozygous mutant condition or not.

Introduction: Autosomal genetic defects are inherited from one generation to next in two patterns, either in autosomal recessive form or in autosomal dominant form. For a disease that is autosomal recessive, presence of two copies of the defective alleles (homozygous condition) is required for the development of disease. In case of autosomal dominant disease, presence of even a single copy of the defective allele (heterozygous condition) can cause development of the disease.

Explanation of Solution

Achondroplasia is an autosomal dominant genetic defect, which means it can also develop in a heterozygous condition. Homozygous state can be fatal. In the given case, both the parents are heterozygous for the disease...

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