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Hum Mutat. 2015 Mar;36(3):327-32. doi: 10.1002/humu.22745.

Recessive inheritance of population-specific intronic LINE-1 insertion causes a rotor syndrome phenotype.

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Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Tokai University School of Medicine, Isehara, Japan.


Sequences of long-interspersed elements (LINE-1, L1) make up ∼17% of the human genome. De novo insertions of retrotransposition-active L1s can result in genetic diseases. It has been recently shown that the homozygous inactivation of two adjacent genes SLCO1B1 and SLCO1B3 encoding organic anion transporting polypeptides OATP1B1 and OATP1B3 causes a benign recessive disease presenting with conjugated hyperbilirubinemia, Rotor syndrome. Here, we examined SLCO1B1 and SLCO1B3 genes in six Japanese diagnosed with Rotor syndrome on the basis of laboratory data and laparoscopy. All six Japanese patients were homozygous for the c.1738C>T nonsense mutation in SLCO1B1 and homozygous for the insertion of a ∼6.1-kbp L1 retrotransposon in intron 5 of SLCO1B3, which altogether make up a Japanese-specific haplotype. RNA analysis revealed that the L1 insertion induced deleterious splicing resulting in SLCO1B3 transcripts lacking exon 5 or exons 5-7 and containing premature stop codons. The expression of OATP1B1 and OATP1B3 proteins was not detected in liver tissues. This is the first documented case of a population-specific polymorphic intronic L1 transposon insertion contributing to molecular etiology of recessive genetic disease. Since L1 activity in human genomes is currently seen as a major source of individual genetic variation, further investigations are warranted to determine whether this phenomenon results in other autosomal-recessive diseases.


LINE-1; OATP; conjugated hyperbilirubinemia; polymorphic insertion

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