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1/9. Revertant mosaicism: partial correction of a germ-line mutation in COL17A1 by a frame-restoring mutation.

    Generalized atrophic benign epidermolysis bullosa is an autosomal recessive subepidermal blistering disease typified by null mutations in COL17A1. In 1 large kindred, affected individuals were homozygous for a 2-bp deletion in COL17A1, 4003delTC, which resulted in a downstream premature termination codon, nonsense-mediated mRNA decay, and abrogation of type XVII collagen synthesis. Interestingly, 1 of these patients, although phenotypically identical to her affected siblings, showed focal expression of type XVII collagen in epidermal basement membrane in a pattern suggestive of revertant mosaicism. When studies of randomly obtained epidermal, oromucosal, and peripheral blood cells failed to identify the genetic basis of this apparent mosaicism, microscopic subpopulations of potentially revertant epidermal cells (i.e., those overlying basement membrane containing type XVII collagen) were selectively isolated using laser capture microdissection. Analysis of dna and rna from these cells revealed a second mutation, 4080insGG, on 1 allele of COL17A1. This 2-bp insertion corrected the reading frame just proximal to the premature termination codon, countered nonsense-mediated mRNA decay, and allowed protein production by patient keratinocytes in vivo and in vitro. These studies elucidate the molecular basis of a novel form of revertant mosaicism in humans.
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2/9. Junctional epidermolysis bullosa gravis (Herlitz): diagnostic and genetic aspects.

    We report on a boy suffering from lethal junctional epidermolysis bullosa gravis (JEBH) (Herlitz-type) (OMIM 226700). Screening for mutations of LAMB3 gene with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of all exons from genomic dna and subsequent heteroduplex analysis and dideoxynucleotide sequencing of heteroduplex forming PCR products disclosed two mutations: the recurrent maternal mutation R635X and the novel paternal mutation 1629insG, both in exon 14 of LAMB3. Both mutations lead to a premature termination code, non-sense mediated mRNA decay and to absence of the synthesis of the beta3 chain of laminin 5. During the mutation screening of the index patient a second pregnancy was ascertained. After amniocentesis (14 1 week of pregnancy), prenatal diagnosis from fetal cells was performed and compound heterozygosity for both mutations was evident. The consultants decided to have a termination of pregnancy shortly after the diagnosis. Remarkable skin fragility of the fetus was evident by clinical examination. Complete absence of laminin 5 could be demonstrated by immunofluorescence staining. By the third pregnancy of this couple so far screened for mutations by chorionic villus sampling for prenatal molecular diagnosis a healthy but heterozygous child is expected.
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3/9. Genetic bases of severe junctional epidermolysis bullosa presenting spontaneous amelioration with aging.

    Change of the clinical picture with aging is noted in some patients suffering from junctional epidermolysis bullosa (JEB), an inherited blistering disorder caused by extensive disadhesion of the epithelia. We have studied a patient born with severe JEB associated with absent expression of laminin 5. A remarkable reduction of the blistering tendency was observed with aging that correlated with a restored expression of immunoreactive laminin 5 molecules. Genetic analysis of the gene LAMB3 detected compound heterozygosity for the nonsense mutation R635X and a novel 2 bp deletion (1587delAG) resulting in a downstream premature termination codon. RT-PCR amplification of total rna purified from skin biopsies demonstrated that the mutated beta3 mRNAs underwent rapid decay shortly after birth, and that illegitimate splicing of the mRNA carrying mutation 1587delAG generated a new internally shortened beta3 transcript with advancing age. Our genetic and biochemical data show that (i) the illegitimate splicing of the beta3 pre-mRNA results in synthesis and secretion of a laminin 5 heterotrimer with an internally deleted beta3 polypeptide, (ii) expression of the mutated beta3 polypeptide is up-regulated in the basal keratinocytes with high proliferative potential, (iii) absence of the N-terminal region of the beta3 rod domain II thought to stabilize the tertiary structure of the laminin 5 is not required for the assembly of the protein and (iv) the mutant laminin 5 retains its adhesive potential. Our results demonstrate that mRNA rescue may underlie the evolution of the clinical phenotype in inherited skin conditions.
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4/9. Analysis of the LAMB3 gene in a junctional epidermolysis bullosa patient reveals exonic splicing and allele-specific nonsense-mediated mRNA decay.

    How splicing, the process of intron removal in pre-messenger rna (mRNA), is carried out with such fidelity in human cells is still not understood, although some general rules are being proposed mainly by in vitro experiments. These rules are currently being redefined by analysis of splicing mechanisms in patients presenting splicing defects. We analysed material of a patient suffering from junctional epidermolysis bullosa, a heritable blistering skin disease. Absence of laminin-5 protein together with hypoplastic hemidesmosomes at the dermo-epidermal junction in the patient's skin was shown by immunohistochemical analysis and immunoelectron microscopy. Subsequent dna analysis revealed heterozygosity for the mutations R635X and 3009C-->T in the LAMB3 gene. The latter did not alter codon translation, but introduced an exonic splice site in exon 20. Interestingly, this exonic splice site, which presented a splice score of only 68.6, was preferentially used by the spliceosome over the wild-type splice site at the exon 20-intron 20 border, which showed a splice score of 92.2. LAMB3 mRNA was still detectable in RT-PCR analysis although the aberrantly spliced mRNA leads to a stop codon in exon 21, 5' of the commonly assumed 3' border for nonsense-mediated mRNA decay. These results describe an exception to the proposed rules of pre-mRNA splicing and rna degradation.
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5/9. Junctional epidermolysis bullosa: a case report.

    epidermolysis bullosa (EB) is a group of genetically determined disorders characterized by blistering of the skin and mucosae. There are three major forms--simple, junctional and dystrophic--and each has several varieties. The present case report describes a male child with junctional EB. The aim of the report is to present the dietary situation and the dental status of the child, examples of potential dental and nutritional consequences, and the therapeutic interventions possible for children with this disease.
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keywords = dental
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6/9. epidermolysis bullosa junctionalis progressiva in three siblings.

    Three siblings of Swiss origin with epidermolysis bullosa junctionalis progressiva are described. The following clinical features were present from school age: dystrophy of the nails, non-scarring blistering of the skin, mild skin atrophy, hypodontia and dental caries. light microscopy showed subepidermal blistering. Direct immunofluorescence was negative. On indirect immunofluorescence staining of a fresh spontaneous blister, bullous pemphigoid antigen and laminin were localized to the blister roof, and collagen IV and collagen VII to the blister base, indicating junctional splitting. Electron microscopy revealed a normal dermo-epidermal junction zone, including normal hemidesmosomes. There were no deposits of electron-dense amorphous material.
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7/9. Compound heterozygosity for an out-of-frame deletion and a splice site mutation in the LAMB3 gene causes nonlethal junctional epidermolysis bullosa.

    laminin-5 is the major adhesion ligand of epithelial cells. Mutations in the genes encoding laminin-5 cause junctional epidermolysis bullosa (JEB), a clinically and genetically heterogeneous group of recessively inherited blistering disease of skin and mucous membranes. In this report, we describe a patient with a non-lethal variant of JEB who is a compound heterozygous for mutations affecting the LAMB3 gene. The paternally inherited mutation is a deletion of a single base (T) leading to a frameshift and premature termination codon. It results in mRNA decay. The maternally inherited mutation is a G-->A transition at the last base of exon 7 (628G-->A) which converts a codon for glutamic acid in a codon for lysine (E210K). The mutation 628G-->A alters the correct splicing of LAMB3 pre-mRNA giving rise to two aberrant mRNA, in addition to the rna transcript carrying the G-->A substitution. This result is compatible with the reduced expression of mutated laminin 5 molecules with altered biological activity, and the mild JEB phenotype observed in the patient.
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8/9. epidermolysis bullosa: case report of appropriate classification of subtype because of an early dental exam.

    epidermolysis bullosa is a unique group of disorders that have blister formation as the common feature. Although there are many variants of this disorder, the subtypes are classified into three groups based upon the level of tissue separation that occurs after mechanical trauma is sustained by the skin. Specific subtypes of EB may have substantial involvement of extracutaneous areas such as the oral cavity and dentition. This case report demonstrates the importance of a dental examination at an early age in order to facilitate the correct subtyping of EB. For the very young patient, correct classification of the subtype of EB may be very important in identifying the severity of clinical features associated with the disorder, and with this information the patient and family may become better aware of potential complications of the disorder such as the dental defects described in this report.
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keywords = dental
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9/9. 180-kDa bullous pemphigoid antigen defective generalized atrophic benign epidermolysis bullosa: report of four cases with an unusually mild phenotype.

    Generalized atrophic benign epidermolysis bullosa (GABEB) is a rare variant of non-lethal junctional epidermolysis bullosa characterized by generalized skin blistering healing with atrophy and by atrophic alopecia with onset in childhood. Other features include mild mucosal blistering, dental abnormalities and nail dystrophy. We report four additional cases of GABEB from two families originating from the same isolated village. The patients shared an unusually mild clinical phenotype with cutaneous blisters strictly limited to trauma sites and rare occurrence of oral mucosal lesions. scalp, eyelash and eyebrow alopecia was present in only two cases. Immunofluorescence studies showed a markedly reduced expression of the 180-kDa bullous pemphigoid antigen (BP180), and northern analysis of cultured keratinocytes indicated that the gene encoding for BP180 is affected in these GABEB patients.
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keywords = dental
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