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J Exp Med. 2012 Dec 17;209(13):2323-30. doi: 10.1084/jem.20121303. Epub 2012 Dec 10.

Polymerase ε1 mutation in a human syndrome with facial dysmorphism, immunodeficiency, livedo, and short stature ("FILS syndrome").

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National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) Unit 768, Paris, France.


DNA polymerase ε (Polε) is a large, four-subunit polymerase that is conserved throughout the eukaryotes. Its primary function is to synthesize DNA at the leading strand during replication. It is also involved in a wide variety of fundamental cellular processes, including cell cycle progression and DNA repair/recombination. Here, we report that a homozygous single base pair substitution in POLE1 (polymerase ε 1), encoding the catalytic subunit of Polε, caused facial dysmorphism, immunodeficiency, livedo, and short stature ("FILS syndrome") in a large, consanguineous family. The mutation resulted in alternative splicing in the conserved region of intron 34, which strongly decreased protein expression of Polε1 and also to a lesser extent the Polε2 subunit. We observed impairment in proliferation and G1- to S-phase progression in patients' T lymphocytes. Polε1 depletion also impaired G1- to S-phase progression in B lymphocytes, chondrocytes, and osteoblasts. Our results evidence the developmental impact of a Polε catalytic subunit deficiency in humans and its causal relationship with a newly recognized, inherited disorder.

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