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Br J Dermatol. 2009 Nov;161(5):1089-97. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2009.09333.x. Epub 2009 Jun 5.

Forty-two novel COL7A1 mutations and the role of a frequent single nucleotide polymorphism in the MMP1 promoter in modulation of disease severity in a large European dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa cohort.

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Department of Dermatology, University Medical Center Freiburg, 79104 Freiburg, Germany.



Dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB) is a severe genetic skin blistering disorder caused by mutations in the gene COL7A1, encoding collagen VII. Recently, the MMP1 promoter single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs1799750, designated as 1G 2G, was shown to be involved in modulation of disease severity in patients with recessive DEB (RDEB), and was proposed as a genetic modifier.


To identify the molecular basis of DEB in 103 individuals and to replicate the results of the MMP1 promoter SNP analysis in an independent patient group, as verification is necessary in such a rare and heterogeneous disorder.


To determine the molecular basis of the disease, we performed COL7A1 mutation screening, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real-time quantitative PCR. The status of the MMP1 SNP was analysed by PCR and restriction enzyme digestion and verified by sequencing.


We disclosed 42 novel COL7A1 mutations, including the first large genomic deletion of 4 kb affecting only the COL7A1 gene, and three apparently silent mutations affecting splicing. Even though the frequency of the high-risk allele was increased in patients with RDEB, no statistically significant correlation between disease severity and genotype could be made. Also, no correlation was observed with development of squamous cell carcinoma, a severe complication of DEB.


Taken together, the results suggest that the MMP1 SNP is not the sole disease modifier in different forms of DEB, and other genetic and environmental factors contribute to the clinical phenotype.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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