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Hum Mol Genet. 1997 May;6(5):821-5.

Missense mutations in exon 6 of the survival motor neuron gene in patients with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

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  • 1Institute of Human Genetics, Bonn, Germany.

Abstract

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a frequent autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder leading to weakness and atrophy of voluntary muscles. The survival motor neuron gene (SMN) is a strong candidate for SMA and present in two highly homologous copies (telSMN and cenSMN) within the SMA region (5q11.2-q13.3). More than 90% of SMA patients show homozygous deletions of at least exon 7 of telSMN, whereas absence of cenSMN seems to have no clinical consequences. In 23 non-deleted SMA patients, we searched for intragenic mutations of the SMN genes in exons 1-7 and the promotor region by single strand conformation analysis. We identified two different missense mutations, S2621 and T2741, in exon 6 of telSMN in three independent SMA families, providing further evidence for the telSMN gene as a SMA determining gene. Both mutations, as well as two previously described mutations (Y272C and G279V) are located within a highly conserved interval from codon 258 to codon 279 which seems to be an important functional domain of the telSMN protein. Recently, this region has been shown to contain a tyrosine/glycine-rich motif, which is also present in various RNA binding proteins, suggesting a potential role of SMN in RNA metabolism. Missense mutations might be useful for in vivo and transgenic experiments and further investigations on understanding the function of the telSMN protein.

PMID:
9158159
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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