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Ann Neurol. 2000 Apr;47(4):422-9.

A novel mutation at position +12 in the intron following exon 10 of the tau gene in familial frontotemporal dementia (FTD-Kumamoto)

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Hyogo Institute for Aging Brain and Cognitive Disorders, Himeji, Japan.


Exonic and intronic mutations in the tau gene cause familial frontotemporal dementia and parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17. Here, we describe a new mutation, consisting of a C-to-T transition at position +12 of the intron following exon 10 of the tau gene in the Kumamoto pedigree, showing frontotemporal dementia. The mutation caused a marked reduction in melting temperature of the tau exon 10-splicing regulatory element RNA and a large increase in exon 10-containing transcripts. Brain tissue from affected individuals showed an abnormal preponderance of exon 10-containing transcripts that was reflected at the protein level by an overproduction of tau isoforms with four microtubule-binding repeats. Immunostaining revealed the presence of tau aggregates in degenerating neurons and glial cells. Isolated tau filaments had a twisted ribbon-like morphology and were made of hyperphosphorylated four-repeat tau isoforms. The additional mutation located dose to the splice-donor site of the intron following exon 10 of the tau gene supports the view that intronic mutations exercize their pathogenic effect by destabilizing RNA secondary structure.

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