Am J Hum Genet. 2023 Nov 13:S0002-9297(23)00366-X. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2023.10.013. Online ahead of print.
Over two dozen spliceosome proteins are involved in human diseases, also referred to as spliceosomopathies. WW domain-binding protein 4 (WBP4) is part of the early spliceosomal complex and has not been previously associated with human pathologies in the Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) database. Through GeneMatcher, we identified ten individuals from eight families with a severe neurodevelopmental syndrome featuring variable manifestations. Clinical manifestations included hypotonia, global developmental delay, severe intellectual disability, brain abnormalities, musculoskeletal, and gastrointestinal abnormalities. Genetic analysis revealed five different homozygous loss-of-function variants in WBP4. Immunoblotting on fibroblasts from two affected individuals with different genetic variants demonstrated a complete loss of protein, and RNA sequencing analysis uncovered shared abnormal splicing patterns, including in genes associated with abnormalities of the nervous system, potentially underlying the phenotypes of the probands. We conclude that bi-allelic variants in WBP4 cause a developmental disorder with variable presentations, adding to the growing list of human spliceosomopathies.