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Hum Mutat. 2010 Sep;31(9):1059-68. doi: 10.1002/humu.21315.

Clinical variability and novel mutations in the NHEJ1 gene in patients with a Nijmegen breakage syndrome-like phenotype.

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Institute of Human Genetics, Charitè Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Germany.


We have previously shown that mutations in the genes encoding DNA Ligase IV (LIGIV) and RAD50, involved in DNA repair by nonhomologous-end joining (NHEJ) and homologous recombination, respectively, lead to clinical and cellular features similar to those of Nijmegen Breakage Syndrome (NBS). Very recently, a new member of the NHEJ repair pathway, NHEJ1, was discovered, and mutations in patients with features resembling NBS were described. Here we report on five patients from four families of different ethnic origin with the NBS-like phenotype. Sequence analysis of the NHEJ1 gene in a patient of Spanish and in a patient of Turkish origin identified homozygous, previously reported mutations, c.168C>G (p.Arg57Gly) and c.532C>T (p.Arg178Ter), respectively. Two novel, paternally inherited truncating mutations, c.495dupA (p.Asp166ArgfsTer20) and c.526C>T (p.Arg176Ter) and two novel, maternal genomic deletions of 1.9 and 6.9 kb of the NHEJ1 gene, were found in a compound heterozygous state in two siblings of German origin and in one Malaysian patient, respectively. Our findings confirm that patients with NBS-like phenotypes may have mutations in the NHEJ1 gene including multiexon deletions, and show that considerable clinical variability could be observed even within the same family.

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