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Exp Dermatol. 1999 Apr;8(2):109-14.

A mutation detection strategy for the human keratin 6A gene and novel missense mutations in two cases of pachyonychia congenita type 1.

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Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.


Pachyonychia congenita type 1 (PC-1) is an autosomal dominant ectodermal dysplasia characterized by hypertrophic nail dystrophy, focal non-epidermolytic palmoplantar keratoderma and variable features of oral leukokeratosis and follicular keratosis. Previously, we have shown that this disease can be caused by mutations in type I keratin K16 and one mutation has been reported in its type II keratin expression partner, K6a. Mutation analysis for K6a has been hampered by the presence of multiple copies of the K6 gene in the human genome, of which some are expressed and others are pseudogenes. Here, we describe a mutation detection strategy where the entire KRT6A gene, approximately 7 kb, is specifically amplified by long-range PCR. Using this technique, we have detected two novel mutations in the 1A domain of the K6a polypeptide, N171K and F174S. Mutations were confirmed in the affected individuals and were excluded from 50 unaffected unrelated individuals by restriction enzyme analysis of KRT6A PCR products. Additionally, mutation N171K was confirmed by RT-PCR in mRNA derived from lesional palmoplantar epidermis of an affected individual, confirming the specificity of the genomic PCR for the functional K6a gene. This, together with a similar strategy which we have developed for the K16 gene, provide a robust system for mutation detection and prenatal diagnosis for patients with PC-1.

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