Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome

What causes Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome?

Mutations in the GLI3 gene cause Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome (GCPS). 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 GCPS. In some cases, the condition results from a chromosome 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 GCPS.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How is Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome diagnosed?

Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome (GCPS) is diagnosed based on clinical findings and family history. Major findings of GCPS include:

  • an abnormally large head size (macrocephaly) greater than the 97th percentile
  • widely spaced eyes (ocular hypertelorism)
  • limb anomalies including extra fingers or toes (polydactyly)
  • fused skin between the fingers and toes (cutaneous syndactyly)

A diagnosis is established in a first degree relative of a known affected individual if that person has polydactyly with or without syndactyly or craniofacial features (macrocephaly, widely spaced eyes). A diagnosis is additionally established in a person who has features of GCPS and a mutation in the GLI3 gene.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Is genetic testing available for Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome?

Yes. GLI3 is the only gene known to be associated with Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome (GCPS). Genetic testing is available to analyze the GLI3 gene for mutations. Mutations involving GLI3 can be identified in greater than 75% of people with GCPS.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How is Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome inherited?

Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome (GCPS) is often inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern. This means that to be affected, a person only needs a change (mutation) in one copy of the GLI3 gene in each cell. 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. A person with GCPS syndrome has a 50% chance with each pregnancy of passing the altered gene to his or her child.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How might Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome be treated?

Treatment for Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome (GCPS) is symptomatic. Treatment might include elective surgical repair of polydactyly. Evaluation and treatment of hydrocephalus might additionally occur if hydrocephalus is present.

Hydrocephalus is a condition characterized by excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain. This fluid is cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) - a clear fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Excess CSF builds up when it cannot drain from the brain due to a blockage in a passage through which the fluid normally flows. This excess fluid causes an abnormal widening of spaces in the brain called ventricles; this can create harmful pressure on brain tissue.

Treatment of hydrocephalus often includes surgical insertion of a shunt system-in which a catheters (tubes) are surgically placed behind both ears. A valve (fluid pump) is placed underneath the skin behind the ear and is connected to both catheters. When extra pressure builds up around the brain, the valve opens, and excess fluid drains through the catheter. This helps lower pressure within the skull (intracranial pressure).

Last updated on 05-01-20

Name: FACES: The National Craniofacial Association PO Box 11082
Chattanooga, TN, 37401, United States
Phone: 423-266-1632 Toll Free: 800-332-2373 Email: Url:
Name: Let's Face It University of Michigan School of Dentistry Dentistry Library 1011 North University
Ann Arbor, MI, 48109-1078, United States
Email: Url: This website does not appear to be actively updated any longer. However the information and resources may be helpful.
Name: Children's Craniofacial Association 13140 Coit Road Suite 517
Dallas, TX, 75240 , United States
Phone: +1-214-570-9099 Toll Free: 1-800-535-3643 Fax : +1-214-570-8811 Email: Url:
Name: World Craniofacial Foundation P.O. Box 515838
Dallas, TX, 75251-5838, United States
Phone: 972-566-6669 Toll Free: 800-533-3315 Fax : 972-566-3850 Email: Url:

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