Seckel syndrome

Seckel syndrome
Other names Harper's syndrome
Specialty Medical genetics

Seckel syndrome, or microcephalic primordial dwarfism (also known as bird-headed dwarfism, Harper's syndrome, Virchow–Seckel dwarfism and bird-headed dwarf of Seckel[1]) is an extremely rare congenital nanosomic disorder. Inheritance is autosomal recessive.[2] It is characterized by intrauterine growth restriction and postnatal dwarfism with a small head, narrow bird-like face with a beak-like nose, large eyes with down-slanting palpebral fissures,[3] receding mandible and intellectual disability.

A mouse model has been developed.[4] This mouse model is characterized by a severe deficiency of ATR protein.[4] These mice suffer high levels of replicative stress and DNA damage. Adult Seckel mice display accelerated ageing.[4] These findings are consistent with the DNA damage theory of aging.

Symptoms and signs

Symptoms include:


It is believed to be caused by defects of genes on chromosome 3 and 18. One form of Seckel syndrome can be caused by mutation in the gene encoding the ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3-related protein (ATR) which maps to chromosome 3q22.1-q24. This gene is central in the cell's DNA damage response and repair mechanism.

Types include:

Type OMIM Gene Locus
SCKL1 210600 ATR 3q22-q24
SCKL2 606744 ? 18p11-q11
SCKL3 608664 ? 14q
SCKL4 613676 CENPJ 13q12




The syndrome was named after German-American physician Helmut Paul George Seckel[5] (1900–1960). The synonym Harper's syndrome was named after Rita G. Harper.[6][7]

See also


External links

External resources