Spondyloepimetaphyseal dysplasias (SEMDs) comprise a heterogeneous group of autosomal-dominant and autosomal-recessive disorders. An apparent X-linked recessive (XLR) form of SEMD in a single Italian family was previously reported. We have been able to restudy this family together with a second family from Korea by segregating a severe SEMD in an X-linked pattern. Exome sequencing showed missense mutations in BGN c.439A>G (p.Lys147Glu) in the Korean family and c.776G>T (p.Gly259Val) in the Italian family; the c.439A>G (p.Lys147Glu) mutation was also identified in a further simplex SEMD case from India. Biglycan is an extracellular matrix proteoglycan that can bind transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) and thus regulate its free concentration. In 3-dimensional simulation, both altered residues localized to the concave arc of leucine-rich repeat domains of biglycan that interact with TGF-β. The observation of recurrent BGN mutations in XLR SEMD individuals from different ethnic backgrounds allows us to define "XLR SEMD, BGN type" as a nosologic entity.
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