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Hum Mutat. 2012 Jul;33(7):1045-50. doi: 10.1002/humu.22082. Epub 2012 Apr 16.

Deep intronic APC mutations explain a substantial proportion of patients with familial or early-onset adenomatous polyposis.

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Institute of Human Genetics, University of Bonn, Sigmund-Freud-Strasse 25,Bonn, Germany.


To uncover pathogenic deep intronic variants in patients with colorectal adenomatous polyposis, in whom no germline mutation in the APC or MUTYH genes can be identified by routine diagnostics, we performed a systematic APC messenger RNA analysis in 125 unrelated mutation-negative cases. Overall, we identified aberrant transcripts in 8% of the patients (familial cases 30%; early-onset manifestation 21%). In eight of them, two different out-of-frame pseudoexons were found consisting of a 167-bp insertion from intron 4 in five families with a shared founder haplotype and a 83-bp insertion from intron 10 in three patients. The pseudoexon formation was caused by three different heterozygous germline mutations, which are supposed to activate cryptic splice sites. In conclusion, a few deep intronic mutations contribute substantially to the APC mutation spectrum. Complementary DNA analysis and/or target sequencing of intronic regions should be considered as an additional mutation discovery approach in polyposis patients.

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