ISSN : 2146-3123
E-ISSN : 2146-3131

High Incidence of CPLANE1-Related Joubert Syndrome in the Products of Conceptions from Early Pregnancy Losses
Gjorgji Bozhinovski1,4, Marija Terzikj1,4, Katerina Kubelka-Sabit2,3, Dijana Plaseska-Karanfilska1
1Research Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology “Georgi D. Efremov”, Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Skopje, North Macedonia
2Department of Laboratory for Histopathology and Cytology, Clinical Hospital Acıbadem Sistina, Skopje, North Macedonia
3Faculty of Medical Sciences, Goce Delchev University, Stip, North Macedonia
4Contributed equally
DOI : 10.4274/balkanmedj.galenos.2024.2023-10-72
Pages : 97-104


Background: The fetal monogenic causes of early pregnancy losses (EPLs) are mainly unknown, with only a few articles on the subject published. In our previous study of EPLs using whole-exome sequencing analysis, we confirmed a genetic diagnosis of CPLANE1-related Joubert syndrome (JS) in three EPLs from two couples and identified a relatively common CPLANE1 allele among our population (NM_001384732.1:c.1819delT;c.7817T>A, further after referred as “complex allele”). Pathogenic variants in the CPLANE1 (C5orf42) gene are reported to cause JS type 17, a primary ciliopathy with various system defects.
Aims: To examine the hypothesis that the CPLANE1 “complex allele,” whether homozygous or compound heterozygous, is a common cause of EPLs in our population.
Study Design: Cohort study/case-control study.
Methods: In this study, we used polymerase chain reaction-based methods to screen for CPLANE1 “complex allele” presence among 246 euploid EPLs (< 12 gestational weeks) from families in North Macedonia. We also investigated the impact of this allele in 650 women with EPLs versus 646 women with no history of pregnancy loss and at least one livebirth, matched by ethnic origin.
Results: We found a high incidence of JS in the total study group of EPLs (2.03%), with a considerably higher incidence among Albanian families (6.25%). Although not statistically significant, women with EPLs had a higher allele frequency of the CPLANE1 “complex allele” (AF = 1.38%) than the controls (AF = 0.85%; p = 0.2). Albanian women had significantly higher frequency of the “complex allele” than the Macedonians (AF = 1.65% and 0.39%, respectively; p = 0.003).
Conclusion: To the best of our knowledge, this is the highest reported incidence of fetal monogenic disease that might cause EPLs. Targeted screening for the CPLANE1 “complex allele” would be warranted in Albanian ethnic couples because it would detect one JS in every 16 euploid EPLs. Our findings have a larger impact on the pathogenesis of pregnancy loss and contribute to a better understanding of the pathogenicity of the variants in the CPLANE1 gene.

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