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A Recurrent De Novo Heterozygous COG4 Substitution Leads to Saul-Wilson Syndrome, Disrupted Vesicular Trafficking, and Altered Proteoglycan Glycosylation

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-567
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2018


The conserved oligomeric Golgi (COG) complex is involved in intracellular vesicular transport, and is composed of eight subunits distributed in two lobes, lobe A (COG1-4) and lobe B (COG5-8). We describe fourteen individuals with Saul-Wilson syndrome, a rare form of primordial dwarfism with characteristic facial and radiographic features. All affected subjects harbored heterozygous de novo variants in COG4, giving rise to the same recurrent amino acid substitution (p.Gly516Arg). Affected individuals' fibroblasts, whose COG4 mRNA and protein were not decreased, exhibited delayed anterograde vesicular trafficking from the ER to the Golgi and accelerated retrograde vesicular recycling from the Golgi to the ER. This altered steady-state equilibrium led to a decrease in Golgi volume, as well as morphologic abnormalities with collapse of the Golgi stacks. Despite these abnormalities of the Golgi apparatus, protein glycosylation in sera and fibroblasts from affected subjects was not notably altered, but decorin, a proteoglycan secreted into the extracellular matrix, showed altered Golgi-dependent glycosylation. In summary, we define a specific heterozygous COG4 substitution as the molecular basis of Saul-Wilson syndrome, a rare skeletal dysplasia distinct from biallelic COG4-CDG.

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