Leprosy, an infection caused by Mycobacterium leprae, has a specific tropism for the myelinating Schwann cells of peripheral nerves. Recently, the G domain of laminin α2 has been shown to be a mediator for M. leprae to bind to α-dystroglycan in Schwann cells. In order to analyse the association of leprosy with the mediator, three genetic polymorphisms encoding the G domain of the laminin α2 chain were analysed by direct sequencing in 53 leprosy patients and 58 healthy contact individuals from Indonesia. There was no significant difference in the incidence of the polymorphisms between patients and non-patients. Remarkably, it was found that a missense mutation (T7809C) substituting valine with alanine (V2587A) was found to be more frequent in the tuberculoid type than in the lepromatous type leprosy. It is supposed that this missense mutation is one of the determinant factors in the early onset of peripheral nerve damage in Indonesian tuberculoid leprosy patients.
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Document Type: Research Article
Division of Molecular Medicine, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe, Japan,
Department of Dermatology, Gadjah Mada University School of Medicine, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Publication date: July 1, 2002