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Hum Mol Genet

Molecular and clinical correlations in autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia with progressive macular dystrophy (SCA7).

David G. Durr A. Stevanin G. Cancel G. Abbas N. Benomar A. Belal S. Lebre AS. Abada-Bendib M. Grid D. Holmberg M. Yahyaoui M. Hentati F. Chkili T. Agid Y. Brice A.
INSERM U289 and Federation de Neurologie, Hopital de la Salpetriere, 47 bd. de l'Hopital, 75651 Paris Cedex 13, France.
Spinocerebellar ataxia 7 (SCA7) is caused by the expansion of an unstable CAG repeat in the first exon of the SCA7 gene. We have analyzed the SCA7 mutation in 19 families and one isolated case of various geographical origins, presenting with autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia with progressive macular dystrophy. The SCA7 CAG repeat was expanded in 77 patients and in 11 at-risk individuals, with alleles containing from 37 to 130 repeats, demonstrating that SCA7 is genetically homogeneous. Repeats on normal alleles contained from 7 to 35 CAGs. There was a strong negative correlation (r = -0.84) between the age at onset and the size of the CAG repeat expansion in SCA7 patients. Larger expansions were associated with earlier onset, a more severe and rapid clinical course, and a higher frequency of decreased vision, ophthalmoplegia, extensor plantar response and scoliosis. The frequency of other clinical signs such as dysphagia and sphincter disturbances increased with disease duration. The mutation was highly unstable during transmission, with a mean increase of 10 +/- 16 CAG repeats, which was significantly greater in paternal (15 +/- 20) than in maternal (5 +/- 5) transmissions. This correlated well with the marked anticipation (19 +/- 13 years) observed in the families. Gonadal mosaicism, observed in the sperm of a patient, was particularly important, with expanded alleles ranging from 42 to >155 CAG repeats. The degree of instability during transmission, resulting mostly in expansions, is greater than in the seven other neurodegenerative disorders caused by polyglutamine expansions.

Liver glycogenosis due to phosphorylase kinase deficiency: PHKG2 gene structure and mutations associated with cirrhosis.

Burwinkel B. Shiomi S. Al Zaben A. Kilimann MW.
Institut fur Physiologische Chemie, Medizinische Fakultat, Ruhr-Universit-at Bochum, D-44780 Bochum, Germany.
Mutations in three different genes of phosphorylase kinase (Phk) subunits, PHKA2, PHKB and PHKG2, can give rise to glycogen storage disease of the liver. The autosomal-recessive, liver-specific variant of Phk deficiency is caused by mutations in the gene encoding the testis/liver isoform of the catalytic gamma subunit, PHKG2. To facilitate mutation detection and to improve our understanding of the molecular evolution of Phk subunit isoforms, we have determined the structure of the human PHKG2 gene. The gene extends over 9.5 kilonucleotides and is divided into 10 exons; positions of introns are highly conserved between PHKG2 and the gene of the muscle isoform of the gamma subunit, PHKG1. The beginning of intron 2 harbors a highly informative GGT/GT microsatellite repeat, the first polymorphic marker in the PHKG2 gene at human chromosome 16p11.2-p12.1. Employing the gene sequence, we have identified homozygous translation-terminating mutations, 277delC and Arg44ter, in the two published cases of liver Phk deficiency who developed cirrhosis in childhood. As liver Phk deficiency is generally a benign condition and progression to cirrhosis is very rare, this finding suggests that PHKG2 mutations are associated with an increased cirrhosis risk.

Hirschsprung disease in MEN 2A: increased spectrum of RET exon 10 genotypes and strong genotype-phenotype correlation.

Decker RA. Peacock ML. Watson P.
The Charlie Hays Division of Cancer Research, The Decker Foundation, 7536 Forsyth Boulevard, St Louis, MO 63105, USA. r-decker2@nwu.edu
The RET proto-oncogene encodes a transmembrane receptor with tyrosine kinase activity. Germline mutations in RET are responsible for a number of inherited diseases. These include the dominantly inherited cancer syndromes multiple endocrine neoplasia types 2A and 2B (MEN 2A and MEN 2B) and familial medullary thyroid carcinoma (FMTC), as well as some cases of familial Hirschsprung disease (HSCR1). RET mutations in HSCR1 have been shown to cause a loss of RET function, while the cancer syndromes result in RET oncogenic activation. Occasionally MEN 2A or FMTC occurs in association with HSCR1, albeit with low penetrance. An initial report linked HSCR1 in MEN 2A solely to the C618R and C620R RET mutations. In this study we have analyzed 44 families with MEN 2A. HSCR1 co-segregated with MEN 2A in seven (16%) of the 44 families. The predisposing RET mutation in all seven families had been previously reported in MEN 2A or FMTC and occurred in exon 10 at codons 609, 618 or 620, resulting in C609Y, C618S, C620R or C620W substitution. MEN 2A families with RET exon 10 Cys mutations had a substantially greater risk of developing HSCR1 than those with the more common RET exon 11 Cys634 or exon 14 c804 mutations (P = 0.0005). These findings suggest that expression of HSCR1 in MEN 2A may be peculiar to RET exon 10 Cys mutations . However, HSCR1 in MEN 2A is not exclusive to C618R or C620R RET mutations and can occur with other exon 10 Cys amino acid substitutions. The strong correlation between disease phenotype and position of the MEN 2A RET mutation suggests that oncogenic activation of RET alone is insufficient to account for co-expression of the diseases.

A mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene associated with elevated sweat chloride concentrations in the absence of cystic fibrosis.

Year 1998
Mickle JE. Macek M Jr. Fulmer-Smentek SB. Egan MM. Schwiebert E. Guggino W. Moss R. Cutting GR.
Center for Medical Genetics and Department of Pediatrics and Physiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.
Mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) have been shown to cause cystic fibrosis (CF) and male infertility due to congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens. We report the identification of a 6.8 kb deletion (del14a) and a nonsense mutation (S1455X) in the CFTR genes of a mother and her youngest daughter with isolated elevated sweat chloride concentrations. Detailed clinical evaluation of both individuals found no evidence of pulmonary or pancreatic disease characteristic of CF. A second child in this family with classic CF was homozygous for the del14a mutation, indicating that this mutation caused severe CFTR dysfunction. CFTR mRNA transcripts bearing the S1455X mutation were stable in vivo , implying that this allele encoded a truncated version of CFTR missing the last 26 amino acids. Loss of this region did not affect processing of transiently expressed S1455X-CFTR compared with wild-type CFTR. When expressed in CF airway cells, this mutant generated cAMP-activated whole-cell chloride currents similar to wild-type CFTR. Preservation of chloride channel function of S1455X-CFTR was consistent with normal lung and pancreatic function in the mother and her daughter. These data indicate that mutations in CFTR can be associated with elevated sweat chloride concentrations in the absence of the CF phenotype, and suggest a previously unrecognized functional role in the sweat gland for the C-terminus of CFTR.

A dinucleotide mutation in the endothelin-B receptor gene is associated with lethal white foal syndrome (LWFS); a horse variant of Hirschsprung disease.

Year 1998
Yang GC. Croaker D. Zhang AL. Manglick P. Cartmill T. Cass D.
Department of Surgical Research, Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia.
Lethal white foal syndrome (LWFS) is a congenital anomaly of horses characterized by a white coat colour and aganglionosis of the bowel, which is similar to Hirschsprung disease (HSCR). We decided to investigate possible mutations of the endothelin-B receptor gene ( EDNRB ) in LWFS as recent studies in mutant rodents and some patients have demonstrated EDNRB defects. First, we identified a full-length cDNA for horse EDNRB . This cDNA fragment contained a 1329 bp open reading frame which encoded 443 amino acid residues. The predicted amino acid sequence was 89, 91 and 85% identical to human, bovine and mouse as well as rat EDNRB respectively, but only 55% identical to the human, bovine and rat endothelin A receptor (EDNRA). Secondly, sequence analysis, together with allele-specific PCR and the amplification-created restriction site (ACRS) technique, revealed a dinucleotide TC-->AG mutation, which changed isoleucine to lysine in the predicted first transmembrane domain of the EDNRB protein. This was associated with LWFS when homozygous and with the overo phenotype when heterozygous.

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