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Hum Genet. 2004 Nov;115(6):510-4. Epub 2004 Sep 9.

FISH diagnosis of the common 57-kb deletion in CTNS causing cystinosis.

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Medical Genetics Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, 10 Center Drive, MSC 1851 Building 10, Room 10C-103, Bethesda, MD 20892-1851, USA.


Cystinosis is an autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disease caused by mutations in CTNS. The most prevalent CTNS mutation, a 57-kb deletion, occurs in approximately 60% of patients in the United States and northern Europe and removes exons 1-9, most of exon 10, the CTNS promoter region, and all of an adjacent gene of unknown function called CARKL. CTNS codes for the lysosomal cystine transporter, whose absence leads to intracellular cystine accumulation, widespread cellular destruction, renal Fanconi syndrome in infancy, renal glomerular failure in later childhood, and other systemic complications. Because treatment with oral cysteamine can prevent or delay these complications significantly, early and accurate diagnosis is critical. This study describes the generation of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) probes for the 57-kb deletion in CTNS, enabling cytogenetics laboratories to test for this common mutation. The probes would also be able to detect a less frequent 11.7-kb deletion. A blinded study was performed using multiplex PCR analysis as the gold standard to determine the presence or absence of the 57-kb deletion. The FISH probes, evaluated on 12 lymphoblastoid cell lines from singly deleted, doubly deleted, and nondeleted patients, made the correct diagnosis in every case. This appears to be the first FISH-based diagnostic method described for any lysosomal storage disorder. It can assist in the antenatal and perinatal diagnosis of cystinosis and promote earlier salutary therapy with cysteamine.

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