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The term linkeropathies (LKs) refers to a group of rare heritable connective tissue disorders, characterized by a variable degree of short stature, skeletal dysplasia, joint laxity, cutaneous anomalies, dysmorphism, heart malformation, and developmental delay. The LK genes encode for enzymes that add glycosaminoglycan chains onto proteoglycans via a common tetrasaccharide linker region. Biallelic variants in XYLT1 and XYLT2, encoding xylosyltransferases, are associated with Desbuquois dysplasia type 2 and spondylo-ocular syndrome, respectively. Defects in B4GALT7 and B3GALT6, encoding galactosyltransferases, lead to spondylodysplastic Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (spEDS). Mutations in B3GAT3, encoding a glucuronyltransferase, were described in 25 patients from 12 families with variable phenotypes resembling Larsen, Antley-Bixler, Shprintzen-Goldberg, and Geroderma osteodysplastica syndromes. Herein, we report on a 13-year-old girl with a clinical presentation suggestive of spEDS, according to the 2017 EDS nosology, in whom compound heterozygosity for two B3GAT3 likely pathogenic variants was identified. We review the spectrum of B3GAT3-related disorders and provide a comparison of all LK patients reported up to now, highlighting that LKs are a phenotypic continuum bridging EDS and skeletal disorders, hence offering future nosologic perspectives.

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Division of Biology and Genetics, Department of Molecular and Translational Medicine, University of Brescia, 25123 Brescia, Italy.


Humans, Bone Diseases, Dwarfism, Craniosynostoses, Marfan Syndrome, Osteochondrodysplasias, Skin Diseases, Genetic, Glucuronosyltransferase, Phenotype, Mutation, Adolescent, Female, Arachnodactyly, Antley-Bixler Syndrome Phenotype