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Clin Genet. 2011 May;79(5):438-47. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-0004.2010.01493.x.

Novel missense mutations and unexpected multiple changes of RYR1 gene in 75 malignant hyperthermia families.

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1
Centro di Biotecnologie, AORN Cardarelli, Napoli, Italy.

Abstract

Malignant hyperthermia (MH) is an autosomal dominant pharmacogenetic disorder of skeletal muscle characterized by disturbance of intracellular calcium homeostasis in the sarcoplasmic reticulum. Mutations of the ryanodine receptor 1 (RYR1) gene account for most cases, with some studies claiming up to 86% of mutations in this locus. However, RYR1 gene is large and variants are common even in the normal population. We examined 54 families with MH susceptibility and 21 diagnosed with equivocal MH. Thirty-five were selected for an anesthetic reaction, whereas the remainder for hyperCKemia. In these, we studied all 106 exons of the RYR1 gene. When no mutation was found, we also screened: sodium channel voltage-gated, type IV alpha subunit (SCN4A), calcium channel voltage-dependent, L type, alpha 1S subunit (CACNA1S), and L-type voltage-gated calcium channel alpha 2/delta-subunit (CACNL2A). Twenty-nine different RYR1 mutations were discovered in 40 families. Three other MH genes were tested in negative cases. Fourteen RYR1 amino acid changes were novel, of which 12 were located outside the mutational 'hot spots'. In two families, the known mutation p.R3903Q was also observed in malignant hyperthermia-nonsusceptible (MHN) individuals. Unexpectedly, four changes were also found in the same family and two in another. Our study confirms that MH is genetically heterogeneous and that a consistent number of cases are not due to RYR1 mutations. The discordance between in vitro contracture test status and the presence of a proven causative RYR1 mutation suggests that the penetrance may vary due to as yet unknown factors.

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