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Eur J Hum Genet. 2000 Apr;8(4):280-5.

Small in-frame deletions and missense mutations in CADASIL: 3D models predict misfolding of Notch3 EGF-like repeat domains.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Klinikum Grosshadern, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany.


CADASIL (cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy) is a hereditary microangiopathic condition causing stroke in young adults. The responsible gene has recently been identified as the Notch3 gene. Notch3 encodes a large transmembrane receptor with 34 extracellularly localised epidermal growth factor-like (EGF) repeat domains. We screened 71 unrelated CADASIL families for mutations in two exons coding for the first five EGF-like repeats and found mutations in 70% of the families (n = 50). Two types of mutations were identified: 48 families (96%) had missense mutations and two families (4%) had small in-frame deletions. Seven mutations occurred multiple times. All of them are C to T transitions that affect CpG dinucleotides, suggesting that their multiple occurrence is due to the hypermutability of this sequence. All mutations, including the two deletions, result in the gain or loss of a cysteine residue, thus substantiating the pivotal role of an uneven number of cysteine residues within EGF-like repeat domains of Notch3 in the pathogenesis of CADASIL. To study the potential effects of these mutations 3D homology models of the first six EGF domains were generated on the basis of NMR data from human fibrillin-1. These models predict domain misfolding for a subset of mutations.

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