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Pediatr Nephrol. 2010 Jul;25(7):1263-7. doi: 10.1007/s00467-010-1502-5. Epub 2010 Mar 30.

Analysis of CTNS gene transcripts in nephropathic cystinosis.

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  • 1Department of Nephrology and Urology, Division of Nephrology, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital and Research Institute, Piazza S. Onofrio, 4, 00165, Rome, Italy.


Nephropathic cystinosis (NC) is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations of the CTNS gene that encodes for a cystine transmembrane transporter. Several mutations have been described in the coding and promoter regions of the CTNS gene in affected individuals. We selected three patients with NC from two unrelated families, in whom sequence analysis of the CTNS gene detected only one or no mutations. Total RNA was isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells or fibroblasts and CTNS transcripts were analyzed. We observed a skipping of exon 5 (85 bp) in two siblings and an intron 9 retention of 75 bp associated with partial replication of exon 9 in the third patient. Genomic DNA analysis of intron regions surrounding exon 5 showed a point mutation in the hypothetical lariat branch site of intron 4 at position -24 (c.141-24 T > C) in the first two patients and a duplication of 266 bp including a part of exon and intron 9 in the third patient. Analysis of CTNS gene transcripts allowed identification of mutations in patients in whom CTNS mutations could not be detected by traditional DNA sequencing. These results support the hypothesis that cystinosis is a monogenic disorder.

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