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Nat Genet. 2001 Apr;27(4):431-4.

Dyssegmental dysplasia, Silverman-Handmaker type, is caused by functional null mutations of the perlecan gene.

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Craniofacial Developmental Biology and Regeneration Branch, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.


Perlecan is a large heparan sulfate (HS) proteoglycan present in all basement membranes and in some other tissues such as cartilage, and is implicated in cell growth and differentiation. Mice lacking the perlecan gene (Hspg2) have a severe chondrodysplasia with dyssegmental ossification of the spine and show radiographic, clinical and chondro-osseous morphology similar to a lethal autosomal recessive disorder in humans termed dyssegmental dysplasia, Silverman-Handmaker type (DDSH; MIM 224410). Here we report a homozygous, 89-bp duplication in exon 34 of HSPG2 in a pair of siblings with DDSH born to consanguineous parents, and heterozygous point mutations in the 5' donor site of intron 52 and in the middle of exon 73 in a third, unrelated patient, causing skipping of the entire exons 52 and 73 of the HSPG2 transcript, respectively. These mutations are predicted to cause a frameshift, resulting in a truncated protein core. The cartilage matrix from these patients stained poorly with antibody specific for perlecan, but there was staining of intracellular inclusion bodies. Biochemically, truncated perlecan was not secreted by the patient fibroblasts, but was degraded to smaller fragments within the cells. Thus, DDSH is caused by a functional null mutation of HSPG2. Our findings demonstrate the critical role of perlecan in cartilage development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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