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PLoS One. 2010 Nov 23;5(11):e14096. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0014096.

Combined mutation and rearrangement screening by quantitative PCR high-resolution melting: is it relevant for hereditary recurrent Fever genes?

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Unité Médicale des Maladies Auto-Inflammatoires, Laboratoire de Génétique, Hôpital A de Villeneuve, Montpellier, France.


The recent identification of genes implicated in hereditary recurrent fevers has allowed their specific diagnosis. So far however, only punctual mutations have been identified and a significant number of patients remain with no genetic confirmation of their disease after routine molecular approaches such as sequencing. The possible involvement of sequence rearrangements in these patients has only been examined in familial Mediterranean fever and was found to be unlikely. To assess the existence of larger genetic alterations in 3 other concerned genes, MVK (Mevalonate kinase), NLRP3 (Nod like receptor family, pyrin domain containing 3) and TNFRSF1A (TNF receptor superfamily 1A), we adapted the qPCR-HRM method to study possible intragenic deletions and duplications. This single-tube approach, combining both qualitative (mutations) and quantitative (rearrangement) screening, has proven effective in Lynch syndrome diagnosis. Using this approach, we studied 113 unselected (prospective group) and 88 selected (retrospective group) patients and identified no intragenic rearrangements in the 3 genes. Only qualitative alterations were found with a sensitivity similar to that obtained using classical molecular techniques for screening punctual mutations. Our results support that deleterious copy number alterations in MVK, NLRP3 and TNFRSF1A are rare or absent from the mutational spectrum of hereditary recurrent fevers, and demonstrate that a routine combined method such as qPCR-HRM provides no further help in genetic diagnosis. However, quantitative approaches such as qPCR or SQF-PCR did prove to be quick and effective and could still be useful after non contributory punctual mutation screening in the presence of clinically evocative signs.

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