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Am J Hum Genet. 2001 Mar;68(3):642-52. Epub 2001 Feb 9.

Compound heterozygosity for a recurrent 16.5-kb Alu-mediated deletion mutation and single-base-pair substitutions in the ABCC6 gene results in pseudoxanthoma elasticum.

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Department of Dermatology, Jefferson Medical College, and Jefferson Institute of Molecular Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.


Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is a systemic heritable disorder affecting the elastic structures in the skin, eyes, and cardiovascular system, with considerable morbidity and mortality. Recently, mutations in the ABCC6 gene (also referred to as "MRP6" or "eMOAT") encoding multidrug-resistance protein 6 (MRP6), a putative transmembrane ABC transporter protein of unknown function, have been disclosed. Most of the genetic lesions delineated thus far consist of single-base-pair substitutions resulting in nonsense, missense, or splice-site mutations. In this study, we examined four multiplex families with PXE inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern. In each family, the proband was a compound heterozygote for a single-base-pair-substitution mutation and a novel, approximately 16.5-kb deletion mutation spanning the site of the single-base-pair substitution in trans. The deletion mutation was shown to extend from intron 22 to intron 29, resulting in out-of-frame deletion of 1,213 nucleotides from the corresponding mRNA and causing elimination of 505 amino acids from the MRP6 polypeptide. The deletion breakpoints were precisely the same in all four families, which were of different ethnic backgrounds, and haplotype analysis by 13 microsatellite markers suggested that the deletion had occurred independently. Deletion breakpoints within introns 22 and 29 were embedded within AluSx repeat sequences, specifically in a 16-bp segment of DNA, suggesting Alu-mediated homologous recombination as a mechanism.

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