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Nat Genet. 1994 Apr;6(4):409-14.

Somatic and gonadal mosaicism of the Huntington disease gene CAG repeat in brain and sperm.

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  • 1Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Erratum in

  • Nat Genet 1994 May;7(1):113.


Huntington disease is associated with an unstable and expanded (CAG) trinucleotide repeat. We have analysed the CAG expansion in different tissues from 12 affected individuals. All tissues examined were found to display some repeat mosaicism, with the greatest levels detected in brain and sperm. Regions within the brain showing most obvious neuropathology, such as the basal ganglia and the cerebral cortex, displayed the greatest mosaicism, whereas the cerebellar cortex, which is seldom involved, displayed the lowest degree of CAG instability. In two cases of childhood onset disease we detected differences of 8 and 13 trinucleotides between the cerebellum and other regions of the brain. Our results provide evidence for tissue specific instability of the CAG repeat, with the largest CAG repeat lengths in affected regions of the brain.

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