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Segmentation defects of the vertebrae (SDV) are caused by aberrant somite formation during embryogenesis and result in irregular formation of the vertebrae and ribs. The Notch signal transduction pathway plays a critical role in somite formation and patterning in model vertebrates. In humans, mutations in several genes involved in the Notch pathway are associated with SDV, with both autosomal recessive (MESP2, DLL3, LFNG, HES7) and autosomal dominant (TBX6) inheritance. However, many individuals with SDV do not carry mutations in these genes. Using whole-exome capture and massive parallel sequencing, we identified compound heterozygous mutations in RIPPLY2 in two brothers with multiple regional SDV, with appropriate familial segregation. One novel mutation (c.A238T:p.Arg80*) introduces a premature stop codon. In transiently transfected C2C12 mouse myoblasts, the RIPPLY2 mutant protein demonstrated impaired transcriptional repression activity compared with wild-type RIPPLY2 despite similar levels of expression. The other mutation (c.240-4T>G), with minor allele frequency <0.002, lies in the highly conserved splice site consensus sequence 5' to the terminal exon. Ripply2 has a well-established role in somitogenesis and vertebral column formation, interacting at both gene and protein levels with SDV-associated Mesp2 and Tbx6. We conclude that compound heterozygous mutations in RIPPLY2 are associated with SDV, a new gene for this condition.

Original publication




Journal article


Hum Mol Genet

Publication Date





1234 - 1242


Animals, Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors, Bone Diseases, Developmental, Cells, Cultured, Codon, Nonsense, DNA Mutational Analysis, Disease Models, Animal, Exome, Exons, Female, Gene Frequency, Heterozygote, High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Knockout, Mutant Proteins, Mutation, Pedigree, Quantitative Trait, Heritable, RNA Splicing, Repressor Proteins, Somites, Spine, Transcription Factors