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Am J Med Genet. 2000 Sep 4;94(1):19-27.

Familial form of hirschsprung disease: nucleotide sequence studies reveal point mutations in the RET proto-oncogene in two of six families but not in other candidate genes.

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Institute of Genetics, University of Cologne, Koeln, Germany.


Hirschsprung disease (HSCR; McKusick 142623) or aganglionic megacolon is a frequent (1 in 5,000 live births) heritable disorder of the enteric nervous system. By haplotyping with a variety of microsatellite markers, by amplifying all 20 exons of the RET proto-oncogene and by applying a direct DNA sequencing protocol, we have analyzed the DNA from HSCR patients in 6 different families. In one family with a joint occurrence of HSCR and FMTC (follicular medullary thyroid carcinoma), we have identified a mutation in codon 609 in one out of 6 cysteine residues encoded in exon 10 of the RET gene. This C609R point mutation has not previously been reported to cause HSCR. In 2 of the HSCR patients described here from different families, we have found a mutation in exon 2 (R77C) and a silent mutation in exon 3 (Y204Y), respectively, in the extracellular part of the RET proto-oncogene. In introns 2 and 17 of the RET proto-oncogene in 2 families, we have detected single nucleotide exchanges that are probably polymorphisms with unknown, if any, relations to HSCR. The DNA sequences of 5 further genes (GDNF, GDNFRalpha, EDN3, EDNRB, and NTN), that may contribute to the development of HSCR, have not shown mutations in the patients analyzed so far. In 2 of the reported families with several affected children and one grandchild, sequence analyses revealed no mutations in the coding regions of any of the candidate genes analyzed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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