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Am J Hum Genet. 2011 Jan 7;88(1):115-20. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2010.12.006.

Mutations in the 5' UTR of ANKRD26, the ankirin repeat domain 26 gene, cause an autosomal-dominant form of inherited thrombocytopenia, THC2.

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Medical Genetics Unit, Department of Gynaecological, Obstetric, and Paediatric Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna 40138, Italy.


THC2, an autosomal-dominant thrombocytopenia described so far in only two families, has been ascribed to mutations in MASTL or ACBD5. Here, we show that ANKRD26, another gene within the THC2 locus, and neither MASTL nor ACBD5, is mutated in eight unrelated families. ANKRD26 was also found to be mutated in the family previously reported to have an ACBD5 mutation. We identified six different ANKRD26 mutations, which were clustered in a highly conserved 19 bp sequence located in the 5' untranslated region. Mutations were not detected in 500 controls and are absent from the 1000 Genomes database. Available data from an animal model and Dr. Watson's genome give evidence against haploinsufficiency as the pathogenetic mechanism for ANKRD26-mediated thrombocytopenia. The luciferase reporter assay suggests that these 5' UTR mutations might enhance ANKRD26 expression. ANKRD26 is the ancestor of a family of primate-specific genes termed POTE, which have been recently identified as a family of proapoptotic proteins. Dysregulation of apoptosis might therefore be the pathogenetic mechanism, as demonstrated for another thrombocytopenia, THC4. Further investigation is needed to provide evidence supporting this hypothesis.

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