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J Hum Genet. 2007;52(10):820-9. Epub 2007 Sep 5.

Analysis of ENG and ACVRL1 genes in 137 HHT Italian families identifies 76 different mutations (24 novel). Comparison with other European studies.

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Biologia Generale e Genetica Medica, University of Pavia, Via Forlanini, 14, 27100 Pavia, Italy.


Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is an autosomal dominant disorder causing vascular dysplasias. About 70-80% of HHT patients carries mutations in ENG or ACVRL1 genes, which code for a TGFbeta receptor type III and I respectively. Molecular data on a large cohort of Italian HHT patients are presented, discussing the significance of missense and splice site mutations. Mutation analysis in ENG and ACVRL1 genes was performed using single strand conformation polymorphisms (SSCP), denaturing high performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC) and subsequent direct sequencing. Overall, 101 mutations were found, with ACVRL1 involved in 71% of cases. The highest number of mutations (28/101 subjects, 14/76 different mutations referring to both genes) was in ACVRL1, exon 3. Mutation analysis was then extended to a total of 356 family members, and 162 proven to carry the mutation. New polymorphisms were identified in both genes, and evidence that ENG P131L change is not a disease-causing mutation was also provided. An in silico analysis was performed in order to characterize splice-site mutations. These results were compared to other European national studies and data from Italy, France and Spain were consistent for an higher incidence of ACVRL1 mutations.

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