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J Invest Dermatol. 2011 Sep;131(9):1869-76. doi: 10.1038/jid.2011.143. Epub 2011 May 19.

Consequences of two different amino-acid substitutions at the same codon in KRT14 indicate definitive roles of structural distortion in epidermolysis bullosa simplex pathogenesis.

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Department of Dermatology, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan.


Numerous inherited diseases develop due to missense mutations, leading to an amino-acid substitution. Whether an amino-acid change is pathogenic depends on the level of deleterious effects caused by the amino-acid alteration. We show an example of different structural and phenotypic consequences caused by two individual amino-acid changes at the same position. Epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS) is a genodermatosis resulting from KRT5 or KRT14 mutations. Mutation analysis of an EBS family revealed that affected individuals were heterozygous for a, to our knowledge, previously unreported mutation of c.1237G>C (p.Ala413Pro) in KRT14. Interestingly, 2 of 100 unrelated normal controls were heterozygous, and 1 of the 100 was homozygous for a different mutation in this position, c.1237G>A (p.Ala413Thr). In silico modeling of the protein demonstrated deleterious structural effects from proline substitution but not from threonine substitution. In vitro transfection studies revealed a significantly larger number of keratin-clumped cells in HaCaT cells transfected with mutant KRT14 complementary DNA (cDNA) harboring p.Ala413Pro than those transfected with wild-type KRT14 cDNA or mutant KRT14 cDNA harboring p.Ala413Thr. These results show that changes in two distinct amino acids at a locus are destined to elicit different phenotypes due to the degree of structural distortion resulting from the amino-acid alterations.

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