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Mol Vis. 2008 May 7;14:836-40.

Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) enhances the molecular diagnosis of aniridia and related disorders.

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Department of Clinical Genetics, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 15, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, TheNetherlands.


Mutations in the PAX6 gene have been implicated in aniridia, a congenital malformation of the eye with severe hypoplasia of the iris. However, not all aniridia cases can be explained by mutations in the PAX6 gene. The purpose of this study was to enhance the molecular diagnosis of aniridia using multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA). Total genomic DNA was isolated from peripheral blood of 70 unrelated probands affected with aniridia. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed followed by automated bidirectional sequencing. Additionally, MLPA was performed. We identified 24 different point mutations in the PAX6 gene in 34 patients after sequencing. In eight additional patients, we identified a deletion of one or more exons of the PAX6 gene or in the 3' regulatory region of the PAX6 gene using MLPA. This work demonstrates the necessity to screen for larger deletions in the region of the PAX6 gene in addition to the sequencing of exons in the PAX6 gene. The mutation detection rate will increase from 49% to 60%. This shows that MLPA substantially enhances the molecular diagnosis of aniridia.

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