Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Pharmacogenomics. 2001 Aug;2(3):263-72.

CNS myelination and PLP gene dosage.

Author information

Clinical Molecular Genetics Unit, Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford Street, London, WC1N 1EH, UK.


The phenomenon of gene dosage effects demonstrates that the mechanisms of some genetic diseases are best recognised at the genomic level. Classical gene mutation screening approaches utilising PCR are unsuccessful in unravelling the basis of disease because the gene sequence is unaltered and only the copy number is different. Techniques for detecting DNA dosage are required. Examples of haploinsufficiency and gene deletions are well documented, but increased gene dosage is also an important genetic mechanism in disorders involving myelin proteins in the central (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS). Here we review the dosage effects and mutations of the proteolipid protein (PLP) gene that causes Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD) and spastic paraplegia Type 2 (SPG2) disorders of CNS myelination. Similarities are drawn with the peripheral neuropathies Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease Type 1 (CMT1A) and hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsies (HNPP) that are also caused by dosage effects and mutations in a single myelin protein gene (peripheral myelin protein 22, PMP-22). We compare the different mutational mechanisms in man and analogous mouse models that suggest a function for PLP beyond its structural role in myelin. We focus on the increased dosage of the PLP gene that is the major cause of PMD and results from a submicroscopic duplication of Xq22. Other clinical phenotypes may arise from gene dosage imbalance with the potential effect of submicroscopic duplications and deletions of the genome being underestimated. Genome sequencing may identify intrinsic structural properties of the DNA with greater susceptibility to these rearrangements and thereby reflect structural changes in the genome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons


    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Atypon
    Loading ...
    Support Center