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1/10. Complete skipping of exon 66 due to novel mutations of the dystrophin gene was identified in two Japanese families of Duchenne muscular dystrophy with severe mental retardation.

    Severe mental retardation is a rare complication of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Here we report that two DMD cases showing severe mental retardation exhibit the same exon skipping event induced by different intron mutations. In the two Japanese DMD patients studied, the complete sequence of exon 66 of the dystrophin gene was found to be absent from the dystrophin mRNA, creating a premature stop codon in exon 67. Novel point mutations at the consensus sequence of the splice donor site of intron 66 (T9857( 2) to C in one case and G9857( 5) to T in the other case) were found to be the cause of complete exon skipping. Remarkably, severe mental retardation cosegregated with an exon 66-skipping event in their families. Furthermore, pachygyria was disclosed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination of the brain of one case. Our results suggested that exon 66 skipping should be examined in DMD cases with a severe form of mental retardation.
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2/10. Novel deletion at the M and P promoters of the human dystrophin gene associated with a Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

    Despite numerous reports about dystrophin alterations in Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies and dilated cardiomyopathy, the function of dystrophin gene promoters has not yet been completely elucidated. We report the first case of a dna segment deletion encompassing promoters M and P of the human dystrophin gene, which caused a very severe muscle phenotype without cardiomyopathy, in a 13-year-old boy. These data indicate that the simultaneous lack of promoters P and M results in dramatic consequences in skeletal muscle but not in the heart.
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3/10. The Xq22 inversion breakpoint interrupted a novel Ras-like GTPase gene in a patient with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and profound mental retardation.

    A male patient with profound mental retardation, athetosis, nystagmus, and severe congenital hypotonia (Duchenne muscular dystrophy [DMD]) was previously shown to carry a pericentric inversion of the x chromosome, 46,Y,inv(X)(p21.2q22.2). His mother carried this inversion on one X allele. The patient's condition was originally misdiagnosed as cerebral palsy, and only later was it diagnosed as DMD. Because the DMD gene is located at Xp21.2, which is one breakpoint of the inv(X), and because its defects are rarely associated with severe mental retardation, the other clinical features of this patient were deemed likely to be associated with the opposite breakpoint at Xq22. Our precise molecular-cytogenetic characterization of both breakpoints revealed three catastrophic genetic events that had probably influenced neuromuscular and cognitive development: deletion of part of the DMD gene at Xp21.2, duplication of the human proteolipid protein gene (PLP) at Xq22.2, and disruption of a novel gene. The latter sequence, showing a high degree of homology to the Sec4 gene of yeast, encoded a putative small guanine-protein, Ras-like GTPase that we have termed "RLGP." Immunocytochemistry located RLGP at mitochondria. We speculate that disruption of RLGP was responsible for the patient's profound mental retardation.
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4/10. Mutations in the dystrophin gene are associated with sporadic dilated cardiomyopathy.

    Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is the major indication for heart transplantation. Approximately 30% of all DCM is thought to be inherited, while 70% is sporadic. Mutations in the dystrophin gene have been associated with the uncommon X-linked form of DCM. We hypothesized that missense mutations and other less severe mutations of the dystrophin gene might predispose to the common form of sporadic DCM. To test this hypothesis, 22kb of genomic dystrophin dna was scanned with DOVAM-S in each of the 22 patients with sporadic DCM, including all 79 coding sequences and splice junctions, as well as six alternative exon 1 dystrophin isoforms (484kb, total). Three putative new mutations (IVS5 1 G>T, K18N, and F3228L) and seven polymorphisms were identified. The splice site mutation IVS5 1 is predicted to cause skipping of exon 5, which is within a region containing an actin binding site. The missense mutations occur at amino acids that display substantial evolutionary conservation. Screening of 236 control individuals failed to identify these three mutations. The three patients with putative mutations had CK-MM (creatine kinase, skeletal muscle) levels greater than 250 units while the 14 patients without mutations for which CK-MM were available had values ranging from 20 to 200. The first comprehensive mutation scanning of the exons and splice junctions of the dystrophin gene in patients with sporadic DCM presents the evidence that point mutations are associated with sporadic DCM without clinical evidence of skeletal myopathy. It may be prudent to measure CK-MM in all patients with dilated cardiomyopathy to identify candidates at high risk for dystrophin mutations.
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5/10. Identification of transcripts from a subtraction library which might be responsible for the mild phenotype in an intrafamilially variable course of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

    While frame-shift mutations are usually found in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), in-frame mutations are associated with the less severe phenotype of Becker's muscular dystrophy. Exceptions have been reported in both directions suggesting the existence of modifying genes, which might be helpful for innovation of new therapeutic strategies. We report on the very rare case of an intrafamilially different course of DMD, with the younger brother being far less affected than the older one when compared at the same age. In this context, we constructed a subtraction library enriched for transcripts over-expressed in the patient with the milder phenotype. Twelve random clones were sequenced, followed by database analysis. Six of them, casein kinase 1 alpha 1, RAP2B, dynactin 3 light chain, core binding factor beta, myosin light polypeptide 2 and one hypothetical gene, were further analysed by real-time RT-PCR. All these genes were over-expressed 3-20 times in the less affected patient compared with the more severely affected one. Casein kinase 1 and the hypothetical gene showed even a slightly higher expression than the control. up-regulation of myosin light polypeptide 2, one of the most sensitive markers of muscle fibre regeneration, obviously reflects the milder phenotype. Casein kinase 1, dynactin and core binding factor are supposed to be involved in cell cycle pathways. RAP is a component of the signalling network which controls fundamental cellular processes such as proliferation and differentiation. All four might be interesting candidates for a therapeutic approach to diminish progression of dystrophy in DMD.
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6/10. Dystrophinopathy caused by mid-intronic substitutions activating cryptic exons in the DMD gene.

    In the course of a mutation search performed by muscle dystrophin transcript analysis in 72 Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies (DMD/BMD) patients without gross gene defect, we encountered four unrelated cases with additional out-of-frame sequences precisely intercalated between two intact exons of the mature muscle dystrophin mRNA. An in silico search of the whole dystrophin genomic sequence revealed that these inserts correspond to cryptic exons flanked by one strong and one weak consensus splice site and located in the mid-part of large introns (introns 60, 9, 1M, and 62, respectively). In each case we identified an intronic point mutation activating the cryptic donor or acceptor splice site. The patients exhibited a BMD/intermediate phenotype consistent with the presence of reduced amounts of normally spliced transcript and normal dystrophin. The frequency of this new type of mutation is not negligible (6% of our series of 65 patients with 'small' mutations). It would be missed if the exploration of the DMD gene is exclusively performed on exons and flanking sequences of genomic dna.
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ranking = 118261.45090149
keywords = introns, sequence
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7/10. An intragenic deletion/inversion event in the DMD gene determines a novel exon creation and results in a BMD phenotype.

    Duchenne and Becker Muscular Dystrophy (DMD and BMD) are caused, in the majority of cases, by deletions in the dystrophin gene ( DMD). Here we describe the unprecedented case of a BMD patient carrying a large out-of-frame intragenic deletion, together with an inversion in the DMD gene, resulting in the inclusion of a novel exon in the transcript. Multiplex PCR amplification revealed the presence of a 48-52 exon deletion, but transcript analysis identified two unexpected products, neither of them including exon 53. The shorter mRNA derived from the juxtaposition of exons 47-54 (in-frame), while the longer one resulted from the inclusion of a novel 73-bp exon between exons 47 and 54. sequence analysis revealed that the inserted sequence derived from an inverted portion of intron 53; its inclusion is predicted to determine protein truncation. The presence of a genomic inversion involving exon 53 and flanking regions was confirmed, and inversion/deletion breakpoints were sequenced. The inverted 73-bp sequence displays splicing signals at both ends and thus it is probably recognized as a novel exon when the partially inverted hnRNA is processed. These findings highlight the importance of mRNA analysis on patients that, based on routine dna screenings, do not follow the reading-frame rule. This is the first reported patient carrying both an intragenic deletion and inversion in the DMD locus. This case might provide further insight into both the mechanisms that determine genomic rearrangements in the DMD locus and the molecular signals that drive exon inclusion.
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ranking = 1.5
keywords = sequence
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8/10. A G-to-A transition at the fifth position of intron-32 of the dystrophin gene inactivates a splice-donor site both in vivo and in vitro.

    The splicing pattern of pre-mRNA is unpredictable in genes harboring a single-nucleotide change within the consensus sequence of a splice-donor site. In the dystrophin gene, a transition from G to A at the fifth position of intron-32 (4518 5G > A) has been reported as a polymorphism within the consensus sequence or a mutation identified in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Here, we report both in vivo and in vitro evidence that shows inactivation of the splice-donor site caused by this mutation. In one Japanese DMD case, two novel dystrophin mRNAs were identified in the patient's lymphocytes, one with a 98 bp deletion of the 3' end of exon-32 (dys32-98) and the other with a 28 bp intron retained between exons 32 and 33 (dys32 28). Genomic sequencing disclosed a single-nucleotide change from G to A at the fifth position of intron-32 (4518 5G > A). To demonstrate in vitro the inactivation of this splice-donor site by this nucleotide change, mini-dystrophin genes comprising three exons harboring either normal or mutant intron-32 sequences were expressed in hela cells, and the splicing products were analyzed by reverse-transcription PCR amplification. A normal transcript consisting of three exons was obtained from the normal construct. From the mutant, we obtained one product containing a 98 bp deletion at the 3' end of exon-32, indicating complete inactivation of the native splice-donor site. Thus, both in vivo and in vitro experiments demonstrate that 4518 5G > A causes a splicing error leading to transcript termination; it did not behave like a silent polymorphism. Our results indicate that the in vitro splicing system is a powerful tool for determining the underlying mechanism of a disease-causing mutation in a splicing consensus sequence.
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keywords = sequence
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9/10. Intravenous infusion of an antisense oligonucleotide results in exon skipping in muscle dystrophin mRNA of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a fatal muscle wasting disease that is characterized by muscle dystrophin deficiency. We report that intravenous (IV) infusion of an antisense oligonucleotide created an in-frame dystrophin mRNA from an out-of-frame DMD mutation (via exon skipping) which led to muscle dystrophin expression. A 10-year-old DMD patient possessing an out-of-frame, exon 20 deletion of the dystrophin gene received a 0.5 mg/kg IV infusion of an antisense 31-mer phosphorothioate oligonucleotide against the splicing enhancer sequence of exon 19. This antisense construct was administered at one-week intervals for 4 wk. No side effects attributable to infusion were observed. Exon 19 skipping appeared in a portion of the dystrophin mRNA in peripheral lymphocytes after the infusion. In a muscle biopsy one week after the final infusion, the novel in-frame mRNA lacking both exons 19 and 20 was identified and found to represent approximately 6% of the total reverse transcription PCR product. dystrophin was identified histochemically in the sarcolemma of muscle cells after oligonucleotide treatment. These findings demonstrate that phosphorothioate oligonucleotides may be administered safely to children with DMD, and that a simple IV infusion is an effective delivery mechanism for oligonucleotides that lead to exon skipping in DMD skeletal muscles.
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10/10. Novel cryptic exons identified in introns 2 and 3 of the human dystrophin gene with duplication of exons 8-11.

    The dystrophin gene, which is mutated in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, is the largest known human gene and characterized by the huge size of its introns. Intron 2 has been shown to include cryptic exons termed exons 2a and 2b, while intron 3 has been shown to include a cryptic exon designated exon 3a. In the present study, we identified 2 and 1 additional cryptic exons in introns 2 and 3, respectively. A previously unknown 157-bp insertion was identified between exons 2 and 3 of a dystrophin mRNA isolated from the lymphocytes of a dystrophinopathy patient with duplication of exons 8-11. Since this sequence exhibited the typical characteristics of a genomic exon, we designated it "exon 2c-l". A more detailed examination revealed that a position 4 bp downstream from the 5' end of exon 2c-l was also used as a splice acceptor site, and this exon was designated "exon 2c-s". In the same patient, a 357-bp insertion was identified between exons 3 and 4. Since this sequence also showed the typical characteristics of an exon, and its 3' end was the same as the splice donor site of exon 3a, we designated the novel cryptic exon "exon 3a-l", and changed the name of the previously reported exon 3a to "exon 3a-s". Among these novel cryptic exons, exon 3a-l was also incorporated into the dystrophin mRNA from normal lymphocytes, whereas exons 2c-l and 2c-s were not. The physiological or pathophysiological roles of these novel cryptic exons remain to be clarified.
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keywords = introns, sequence
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