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Neurogenetics. 2012 Aug;13(3):205-14. doi: 10.1007/s10048-012-0331-z. Epub 2012 May 3.

Megalencephalic leukoencephalopathy with subcortical cysts type 1 (MLC1) due to a homozygous deep intronic splicing mutation (c.895-226T>G) abrogated in vitro using an antisense morpholino oligonucleotide.

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Department of Genetics, Biology and Biochemistry, University of Torino, via Santena, 19-10126 Torino, Italy.


Megalencephalic leukoencephalopathy with subcortical cysts is an autosomal recessive disease characterized by early onset macrocephaly; developmental delay; motor disability in the form of progressive spasticity and ataxia; seizures; cognitive decline; and characteristic magnetic resonance imaging findings. Mutations in two genes, MLC1 (22q13.33; 75 % of patients) or HEPACAM (11q24; 20 % of patients), are associated with the disease. We describe an adult MLC patient with moderate clinical symptoms. MLC1 cDNA analysis from lymphoblasts showed a strong transcript reduction and identified a 246-bp pseudoexon containing a premature stop codon between exons 10 and 11, due to a homozygous c.895-226 T>G deep-intronic mutation. This category of mutations is often overlooked, being outside of canonically sequenced genomic regions. The mutation c.895-226 T>G has a leaky effect on splicing leaving part of the full-length transcript. Its role on splicing was confirmed using a minigene assay and an antisense morpholinated oligonucleotide targeted to the aberrant splice site in vitro, which partially abrogated the mutation effect.

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