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Ann Hum Genet. 2008 Jan;72(Pt 1):10-8. Epub 2007 Oct 3.

Large genomic mutations within the ATM gene detected by MLPA, including a duplication of 41 kb from exon 4 to 20.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, Biology and Biochemistry, University of Torino, S. Giovanni Battista Hospital, Torino, Italy.


Mutation detection remains problematic for large genes, primarily because PCR-based methodology fails to detect heterozygous deletions and any duplication. In the ATM gene only a handful of multi-exon deletions have been described to date, and this type of mutation has been considered rare. To address this issue we tested a new MLPA (Multiplex Ligation Probe Amplification) kit that covers 33 of the 66 ATM exons, using for controls two previously characterized genomic deletions in addition to three A-T patients, taken from a survey of nine, who had missing four mutations unidentified after conventional mutation screening. We identified for the first time: 1) a approximately 41 kb genomic duplication spanning exons 4-20 (c.-30_2816dup41kb)(a.k.a., ATM dup 41 kb); 2) a novel genomic deletion including exon 31, and 3) in hemizygosis a point mutation in the non-deleted exon 31. In this study we extended mutation detection to nine new Italian A-T patients, using a combined approach of haplotype analysis, DHPLC and MLPA. Overall we achieved a mutation detection rate of >97%, and can now define a spectrum of ATM mutations based on twenty-one consecutive Italian families with A-T.

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