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Haematologica. 2012 Dec;97(12):1813-7. doi: 10.3324/haematol.2012.062281. Epub 2012 Jun 11.

High frequency of ribosomal protein gene deletions in Italian Diamond-Blackfan anemia patients detected by multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification assay.

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Pediatric Onco-Hematology, Regina Margherita Children's Hospital, Turin, Italy.


Diamond-Blackfan anemia is an autosomal dominant disease due to mutations in nine ribosomal protein encoding genes. Because most mutations are loss of function and detected by direct sequencing of coding exons, we reasoned that part of the approximately 50% mutation negative patients may have carried a copy number variant of ribosomal protein genes. As a proof of concept, we designed a multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification assay targeted to screen the six genes that are most frequently mutated in Diamond-Blackfan anemia patients: RPS17, RPS19, RPS26, RPL5, RPL11, and RPL35A. Using this assay we showed that deletions represent approximately 20% of all mutations. The combination of sequencing and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification analysis of these six genes allows the genetic characterization of approximately 65% of patients, showing that Diamond-Blackfan anemia is indisputably a ribosomopathy.

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