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J Mol Biol. 2001 Apr 13;307(5):1261-70.

A novel mutation in the neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) gene promotes skipping of two exons by preventing exon definition.

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D├ępartement de microbiologie et d'infectiologie, Universite Paris V 4 av. de l'Observatoire 75006, Paris, France.


Using a protein truncation assay, we have identified a new mutation in the neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) gene that causes a severe defect in NF1 pre-mRNA splicing. The mutation, which consists of a G to A transition at position +1 of the 5' splice site of exon 12a, is associated with the loss of both exons 11 and 12a in the NF1 mRNA. Through the use of in vivo and in vitro splicing assays, we show that the mutation inactivates the 5' splice site of exon 12a, and prevents the definition of exon 12a, a process that is normally required to stimulate the weak 3' splice site of exon 12a. Because the 5' splice site mutation weakens the interaction of splicing factors with the 3' splice site of exon 12a, we propose that exon 11/exon 12a splicing is also compromised, leading to the exclusion of both exons 11 and 12a. Our results provide in vivo support for the importance of the exon definition model during NF1 splicing, and suggest that the NF1 region containing exons 11 and 12a plays an important role in the activity of neurofibromin.

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