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J Neurol Sci. 2012 Aug 15;319(1-2):37-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2012.05.025. Epub 2012 Jun 3.

Mutational and haplotype map of NOTCH3 in a cohort of Italian patients with cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL).

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Department of Neurological, Neuropsychological, Morphological and Movement Sciences; Section of Neuropathology, University of Verona, Italy.


Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL), the most common form of familial vascular dementia, is caused by mutations of the NOTCH3 gene. Approximately two hundred pathogenic mutations have been reported within five exons (exons 3, 4, 6, 11 and 19) which accounted for 78% of known mutations in worldwide series. We reported twenty-one NOTCH3 pathogenic mutations (including five novel ones) identified in 53 index Italian patients. Exons 4 (28%), 7 (21%) and 19 (24%) were the most frequently involved. To dissect genetic heterogeneity, we analyzed five haplotyped tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (rs1044009, rs4809030, rs10426042, rs10423702 and rs3815188) in 95 patients, 39 unaffected pedigree members and 50 healthy controls. SNPs were analyzed using the Illumina VeraCode Universal Capture Beads technology by Allele Specific Primer Extension (ASPE). We identified ten different haplotypes named H1-H10; H1 was the most common haplotype in patients and controls and it was associated with at least twelve out of the twenty-one mutations. Detected mutations were not associated to specific haplotypes while genotyping was compatible with a possible founder effect for the novel p.S396C mutation which clustered in a restricted geographical area of northeast Italy. The results added on to the genetic heterogeneity of CADASIL and emphasized difficulties in designing algorithms for molecular diagnosis.

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