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J Hum Genet. 2002;47(5):262-5.

Association of autism in two patients with hereditary multiple exostoses caused by novel deletion mutations of EXT1.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Jichi Medical School, 3311-1 Yakushiji, Minamikawachi, Tochigi 329-0498, Japan.


Two boys from separate families presented with hereditary multiple exostoses (EXT) and autism associated with mental retardation. Their fathers both expressed a clinical phenotype of hereditary multiple exostoses milder than those of the patients and without the associated mental disorder. The EXT1 and EXT2 genes from lymphocytes of the affected individuals were analyzed by using denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography and direct sequencing. A novel deletion mutation, 1742delTGT-G in exon 9 of EXT1, causing a frameshift was detected in one boy and his father. Another novel deletion mutation, 2093delTT in exon 11 of EXT1, causing transcription termination was detected in the other affected boy and his father. EXT1 is expressed in the brain, and both EXT1 and EXT2 proteins are associated with glycosyltransferase activities required for the biosynthesis of heparan sulfate, which also has activity in the brain. The coincidental association of mental disorders in the boys was not completely excluded. However, these results suggest the involvement of EXT1 in the development of mental disorders, including mental retardation and autism.

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