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Am J Kidney Dis. 2007 Aug;50(2):257.e1-14.

Genetic testing for X-linked Alport syndrome by direct sequencing of COL4A5 cDNA from hair root RNA samples.

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Molecular Biology Laboratory, Fundació Puigvert, Barcelona, Spain.



Alport syndrome (AS) is a genetically heterogeneous hereditary renal disease. X-Linked AS (XLAS) is responsible for 80% to 85% of familial cases and is caused by mutations in the COL4A5 collagen gene. To date, indirect molecular diagnosis for XLAS is not well defined, and mutation screening of the COL4A5 gene is time consuming and complicated because of its large size and high allelic heterogeneity. Our aim is to facilitate XLAS genetic testing.


For linkage analysis, we tested the applicability of 4 microsatellite markers defining a 1.2-megabase region flanking the COL4A5 gene. For mutation screening of the COL4A5 gene, we describe a new strategy based on direct sequencing of hair root COL4A5 messenger RNA (mRNA).


Three microsatellite markers proved accurate (DXS1120, DXS6802, and DXS1210) and 1 was discarded (DXS6797) because it was difficult to interpret. The mutation screening method provides results in 4 days, and when applied to 29 patients suspected of having XLAS, it identified mutations in 76% (22 of 29 patients). This study correlates COL4A5 mutations with effects at the mRNA level and suggests that mutations affecting mRNA splicing of the COL4A5 gene (41%; 9 of 22 patients) are more common than previously described. Many splicing mutations did not alter the canonical 5' and 3' splice sites.


A more reliable linkage analysis and a simple, fast, and efficient mutation screening are now available for the genetic testing of patients with XLAS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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