KRT9 gene mutation as a reliable indicator in the prenatal molecular diagnosis of epidermolytic palmoplantar keratoderma.

PMID 24862219


Epidermolytic palmoplantar keratoderma (EPPK) is the most frequent form of such keratodermas. It is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern and is clinically characterized by diffuse yellowish thickening of the skin on the palms and soles with erythematous borders during the first weeks or months after birth. EPPK is generally caused by mutations of the KRT9 gene. More than 26 KRT9 gene mutations responsible for EPPK have been described (Human Intermediate Filament Database,, and many of these variants are located within the highly-conserved coil 1A region of the α-helical rod domain of keratin 9. Unfortunately, there is no satisfactory treatment for EPPK. Thus, prenatal molecular diagnosis or pre-pregnancy diagnosis is crucial and benefits those affected who seek healthy descendants. In the present study, we performed amniotic fluid-DNA-based prenatal testing for three at-risk pregnant EPPK women from three unrelated southern Chinese families who carried the KRT9 missense mutations p.Arg163Trp and p.Arg163Gln, and successfully helped two families to bear normal daughters. We suggest that before the successful application of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), and noninvasive prenatal diagnosis of EPPK that analyzes fetal cells or cell-free DNA in maternal blood, prenatal genetic diagnosis by amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS) offers a quite acceptable option for EPPK couples-at-risk to avoid the birth of affected offspring, especially in low- and middle-income countries.