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Novel MPZ Mutation In A Sporadic CMT Patient

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Mutations in the gene for the major structural protein component of peripheral nerve myelin, myelin protein zero (MPZ), are associated with some forms of hereditary neuropathies such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1B (CMT1B), Dejerine-Sottas syndrome (DSS) and congenital hypomyelinating neuropathy (CHN). The common pathological characteristics of these allelic disorders are severe demyelination and remyelination of peripheral nerves. Recently, MPZ mutations were also found in patients with the axonal form of CMT neuropathy (CMT2). We studied a patient with negative familiar history and clinical and electrophysiological features of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease: distal muscle weakness and atrophy, foot deformities (pes cavus), and severely reduced nerve conduction velocities in the motor and sensory nerves. The sural nerve biopsy showed marked loss of myelinated fibers, few onion bulbs, and a high percentage of fibers showing excessive myelin outfoldings. DNA analysis excluded CMT1A duplication by Southern blot and by pulsed field gel electrophoresis methods. SSCP analysis of all six exons of MPZ revealed a shift band in exon 2 in the patient's DNA. No such difference was detected in normal controls. Direct sequencing disclosed a G → A transition at nucleotide position 181. This base substitution predicts the replacement of aspartic acid with asparagine at codon 61. A mutation at the same codon (but different amino acid replacement) was recently identified in a family with the axonal type of CMT, in which the disease was autosomal dominantly inherited. This finding provides further confirmation of the role of MPZ gene in peripheral neuropathies and suggests that MPZ coding region mutations may account for a considerable number of CMT cases which do not involve DNA duplication on 17p11.2-p12. This research was partially supported by a MURST and an Ateneo grant to FA, by a Ministero della Sanità grant to PM. Our laboratory is a member of the European Charcot-Marie-Tooth Consortium co-ordinated by Prof. Christine Van Broeckhoven.
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Document Type: Abstract

Affiliations: Department of Neurological Sciences and Vision and Service of Medical Genetics, University of Genova.

Publication date: March 1, 2001

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