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Nat Genet. 2000 Jul;25(3):298-301.

Gene encoding a new RING-B-box-Coiled-coil protein is mutated in mulibrey nanism.

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Folkhälsan Institute of Genetics, Helsinki, Finland.


Mulibrey nanism (for muscle-liver-brain-eye nanism, MUL; MIM 253250) is an autosomal recessive disorder that involves several tissues of mesodermal origin, implying a defect in a highly pleiotropic gene. Characteristic features include severe growth failure of prenatal onset and constrictive pericardium with consequent hepatomegaly. In addition, muscle hypotonia, J-shaped sella turcica, yellowish dots in the ocular fundi, typical dysmorphic features and hypoplasia of various endocrine glands causing hormonal deficiency are common. About 4% of MUL patients develop Wilms' tumour. MUL is enriched in the Finnish population, but is rare elsewhere. We previously assigned MUL to chromosome 17q22-q23 and constructed a physical contig over the critical MUL region. The region has now been further refined by haplotype analysis and new positional candidate genes have been localized. We identified a gene with four independent MUL-associated mutations that all cause a frameshift and predict a truncated protein. MUL is ubiquitously expressed and encodes a new member of the RING-B-box-Coiled-coil (RBCC) family of zinc-finger proteins, whose members are involved in diverse cellular functions such as developmental patterning and oncogenesis.

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