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PloS one

A splice mutation and mRNA decay of EXT2 provoke hereditary multiple exostoses.


PMID 24728384

Abstract

Hereditary multiple exostoses (HME) is an autosomal dominant disease. The classical paradigm of mutation screening seeks to relate alterations in the exostosin glycosyltransferase genes, EXT1 and EXT2, which are responsible for over 70% of HME cases. However, the pathological significance of the majority of these mutations is often unclear. In a Chinese family with HME, EXT1 and EXT2 genes were screened by direct sequencing. The consequence of a detected mutant was predicted by in silico analysis and confirmed by mRNA analysis. The EXT1 and EXT2 mRNA and protein levels and the HS patterns in the HME patients were compared with those in healthy controls. A heterozygous transition (c.743+1G>A) in the EXT2 gene, which co-segregated with the HME phenotype in this family, was identified. The G residue at position +1 in intron 4 of EXT2 was predicted to be a 5' donor splice site. The mRNA analysis revealed an alternative transcript with a cryptic splice site 5 bp downstream of the wild-type site, which harbored a premature stop codon. However, the predicted truncated protein was not detected by western blot analysis. Decay of the mutant mRNA was shown by clone sequencing and quantification analysis. The corresponding downregulation of the EXT2 mRNA will contribute to the abnormal EXT1/EXT2 ratio and HS pattern that were detected in the patients with HME. The heterozygous mutation c.743+1G>A in the EXT2 gene causes HME as a result of abnormal splicing, mRNA decay, and the resulting haploinsufficiency of EXT2.