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Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome

Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome

Reviewed March 2006

What is Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome?

Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome is a disorder that affects development of the limbs, head, and face. The features of this syndrome are highly variable, ranging from very mild to severe. People with this condition typically have one or more extra fingers or toes (polydactyly) or an abnormally wide thumb or big toe (hallux). The skin between the fingers and toes may be fused (cutaneous syndactyly). This disorder is also characterized by widely spaced eyes (ocular hypertelorism), an abnormally large head size (macrocephaly), and a high, prominent forehead. Rarely, affected individuals may have more serious medical problems including seizures, developmental delay, and intellectual disability.

How common is Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome?

This condition is very rare; its prevalence is unknown.

What are the genetic changes related to Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome?

Mutations in the GLI3 gene cause Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome. The GLI3 gene provides instructions for making a protein that controls gene expression, which is a process that regulates whether genes are turned on or off in particular cells. By interacting with certain genes at specific times during development, the GLI3 protein plays a role in the normal shaping (patterning) of many organs and tissues before birth.

Different genetic changes involving the GLI3 gene can cause Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome. In some cases, the condition results from a chromosomal abnormality—such as a large deletion or rearrangement of genetic material—in the region of chromosome 7 that contains the GLI3 gene. In other cases, a mutation in the GLI3 gene itself is responsible for the disorder. Each of these genetic changes prevents one copy of the gene in each cell from producing any functional protein. It remains unclear how a reduced amount of this protein disrupts early development and causes the characteristic features of Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome.

Read more about the GLI3 gene and chromosome 7.

Can Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome be inherited?

This condition is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, which means one altered or missing copy of the GLI3 gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the disorder. In some cases, an affected person inherits a gene mutation or chromosomal abnormality from one affected parent. Other cases occur in people with no history of the condition in their family.

Where can I find information about diagnosis or management of Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome?

These resources address the diagnosis or management of Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome and may include treatment providers.

You might also find information on the diagnosis or management of Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome in Educational resources and Patient support.

General information about the diagnosis and management of genetic conditions is available in the Handbook. Read more about genetic testing, particularly the difference between clinical tests and research tests.

To locate a healthcare provider, see How can I find a genetics professional in my area? in the Handbook.

Where can I find additional information about Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome?

You may find the following resources about Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome helpful. These materials are written for the general public.

You may also be interested in these resources, which are designed for healthcare professionals and researchers.

What other names do people use for Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome?

  • cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome
  • Greig cephalopolysyndactyly (GCPS) syndrome
  • Greig syndrome

For more information about naming genetic conditions, see the Genetics Home Reference Condition Naming Guidelines and How are genetic conditions and genes named? in the Handbook.

What if I still have specific questions about Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome?

Where can I find general information about genetic conditions?

What glossary definitions help with understanding Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome?

References (7 links)


The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? in the Handbook.

Reviewed: March 2006
Published: February 8, 2016