A Swedish pedigree with an autosomal dominant inheritance of idiopathic scoliosis was initially studied by genetic linkage analysis, prioritising genomic regions for further analysis. This revealed a locus on chromosome 1 with a putative risk haplotype shared by all affected individuals. Two affected individuals were subsequently exome-sequenced, identifying a rare, non-synonymous variant in the CELSR2 gene. This variant is rs141489111, a c. G6859A change in exon 21 (NM_001408), leading to a predicted p.V2287I (NP_001399.1) change. This variant was found in all affected members of the pedigree, but showed reduced penetrance. Analysis of tagging variants in CELSR1-3 in a set of 1739 Swedish-Danish scoliosis cases and 1812 controls revealed significant association (p = 0.0001) to rs2281894, a common synonymous variant in CELSR2. This association was not replicated in case-control cohorts from Japan and the US. No association was found to variants in CELSR1 or CELSR3. Our findings suggest a rare variant in CELSR2 as causative for idiopathic scoliosis in a family with dominant segregation and further highlight common variation in CELSR2 in general susceptibility to idiopathic scoliosis in the Swedish-Danish population. Both variants are located in the highly conserved GAIN protein domain, which is necessary for the auto-proteolysis of CELSR2, suggesting its functional importance.
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