Moebius syndrome is a rare disorder primarily characterized by congenital facial palsy, frequently accompanied by ocular abduction anomalies, and occasionally associated with orofacial, limb and musculoskeletal malformations. Abnormal development of cranial nerves V through XII underlines the disease pathogenesis. Although some investigations suggested that a causative gene may lie on 13q12.2-q13, there have been no molecular studies targeting possible microdeletions in this region to date. In the present study, we performed microdeletion analyses on 13q12.11-q13 in nine patients, and sequenced three candidate genes in nineteen patients for functional relevance and further resolution of our screening. We ruled out microdeletions on the critical region as a common cause of Moebius syndrome and excluded FGF9, GSH1 and CDX2 genes. (C) 2009 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.