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J Hum Genet. 2007;52(3):237-43. Epub 2007 Jan 12.

Three novel mutations in the activin receptor-like kinase 1 (ALK-1) gene in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia type 2 in Brazilian patients.

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  • 1Hemoglobin and Genome Laboratory, Hematology and Hemotherapy Center, State University of Campinas, Unicamp, R. Carlos Chagas, 480, Cidade Universit├íria Zeferino Vaz, Campinas, SP, Brazil.


Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) or Osler-Rendu-Weber disease is a systemic fibrovascular dysplasia with an autosomal dominant inheritance pattern. Mutations in two genes, endoglin and ALK-1, are known to cause HHT, both of which mediate signaling by transforming growth factor beta ligands in vascular endothelial cells. Ten patients were analyzed. Diagnosis of HHT was carried out by means of family history, recurrent bleeding, and the presence of multiple telangiectases lesions. Conformation-sensitive gel electrophoresis analyses with consistent abnormal migration patterns were cloned and sequenced using the MegaBace 1000 DNA automated analyzer. Three novel mutations were identified in the coding sequence of the ALK-1 gene in five patients and their families, which demonstrated clinical manifestations of HHT type 2. These mutations included a G insertion and a T deletion of single base pairs in exons 3 and 7, as well as missense mutations in exons 7 and 8 of the ALK-1 gene. These data indicate that loss-of-function mutations in a single allele of the ALK1 locus are sufficient to contribute to defects in maintaining endothelial integrity. We suggest the high rate of mutation detection and the small size of the ALK-1 gene make genomic sequencing a viable diagnostic test for HHT2.

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