Human Molecular Genetics vol:21 issue:11 pages:2464-2475
Synpolydactyly (SPD) is a distal limb anomaly characterized by incomplete digit separation and the presence of supernumerary digits in the syndactylous web. This phenotype has been associated with mutations in the homeodomain or polyalanine tract of the HOXD13 gene. We identified a novel mutation (G11A) in HOXD13 that is located outside the previously known domains and affects the intracellular half life of the protein. Misexpression of HOXD13(G11A) in the developing chick limb phenocopied the human SPD phenotype. Finally, we demonstrated through in vitro studies, that this mutation has a destabilizing effect on GLI3R uncovering an unappreciated mechanism by which HOXD13 determines patterning of the limb.