Weyers acrofacial dysostosis is a disorder that affects the development of the teeth, nails, and bones. Dental abnormalities can include small, peg-shaped teeth; fewer teeth than normal (hypodontia); and one front tooth instead of two (a single central incisor). Additionally, the lower jaw (mandible) may be abnormally shaped. People with Weyers acrofacial dysostosis have abnormally small or malformed fingernails and toenails. Most people with the condition are relatively short, and they may have extra fingers or toes (polydactyly).
The features of Weyers acrofacial dysostosis overlap with those of another, more severe condition called Ellis-van Creveld syndrome. In addition to tooth and nail abnormalities, people with Ellis-van Creveld syndrome have very short stature and are often born with heart defects. The two conditions are caused by mutations in the same genes.
Weyers acrofacial dysostosis appears to be a rare disorder. Only a few affected families have been identified worldwide.
Most cases of Weyers acrofacial dysostosis result from mutations in the EVC2 gene. A mutation in a similar gene, EVC, has been found in at least one person with the characteristic features of the disorder. Little is known about the function of the EVC and EVC2 genes, although they appear to play important roles in cell-to-cell signaling during development. In particular, the proteins produced from these genes are thought to help regulate the Sonic Hedgehog signaling pathway. This pathway plays roles in cell growth, cell specialization, and the normal shaping (patterning) of many parts of the body.
The mutations that cause Weyers acrofacial dysostosis result in the production of an abnormal EVC or EVC2 protein. It is unclear how the abnormal proteins lead to the specific signs and symptoms of this condition. Studies suggest that they interfere with Sonic Hedgehog signaling in the developing embryo, disrupting the formation and growth of the teeth, nails, and bones.
Other Names for This Condition
- Acrodental dysostosis of Weyers
- Curry-Hall syndrome
- Weyers acrodental dysostosis
Additional Information & Resources
Genetic Testing Information
Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center
Catalog of Genes and Diseases from OMIM
Scientific Articles on PubMed
- Howard TD, Guttmacher AE, McKinnon W, Sharma M, McKusick VA, Jabs EW. Autosomal dominant postaxial polydactyly, nail dystrophy, and dental abnormalities map to chromosome 4p16, in the region containing the Ellis-van Creveld syndrome locus. Am J Hum Genet. 1997 Dec;61(6):1405-12. doi: 10.1086/301643. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
- Ruiz-Perez VL, Goodship JA. Ellis-van Creveld syndrome and Weyers acrodental dysostosis are caused by cilia-mediated diminished response to hedgehog ligands. Am J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet. 2009 Nov 15;151C(4):341-51. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.c.30226. Citation on PubMed
- Ruiz-Perez VL, Ide SE, Strom TM, Lorenz B, Wilson D, Woods K, King L, Francomano C, Freisinger P, Spranger S, Marino B, Dallapiccola B, Wright M, Meitinger T, Polymeropoulos MH, Goodship J. Mutations in a new gene in Ellis-van Creveld syndrome and Weyers acrodental dysostosis. Nat Genet. 2000 Mar;24(3):283-6. doi: 10.1038/73508. Erratum In: Nat Genet 2000 May;25(1):125. Citation on PubMed
- Valencia M, Lapunzina P, Lim D, Zannolli R, Bartholdi D, Wollnik B, Al-Ajlouni O, Eid SS, Cox H, Buoni S, Hayek J, Martinez-Frias ML, Antonio PA, Temtamy S, Aglan M, Goodship JA, Ruiz-Perez VL. Widening the mutation spectrum of EVC and EVC2: ectopic expression of Weyer variants in NIH 3T3 fibroblasts disrupts Hedgehog signaling. Hum Mutat. 2009 Dec;30(12):1667-75. doi: 10.1002/humu.21117. Citation on PubMed
- Ye X, Song G, Fan M, Shi L, Jabs EW, Huang S, Guo R, Bian Z. A novel heterozygous deletion in the EVC2 gene causes Weyers acrofacial dysostosis. Hum Genet. 2006 Mar;119(1-2):199-205. doi: 10.1007/s00439-005-0129-2. Epub 2006 Jan 11. Citation on PubMed
- Zannolli R, Buoni S, Viviano M, Macucci F, D'Ambrosio A, Livi W, Mazzei MA, Mazzei F, Sacco P, Volterrani L, Vonella G, Orsi A, Zappella M, Hayek J. Polydactyly with ectodermal defect, osteopenia, and mental delay. J Child Neurol. 2008 Jun;23(6):683-9. doi: 10.1177/0883073807309778. Epub 2008 Jan 8. Citation on PubMed