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J Hum Genet. 2018 May;63(5):683-686. doi: 10.1038/s10038-018-0427-x. Epub 2018 Mar 1.

The somatic FAH C.1061C>A change counteracts the frequent FAH c.1062+5G>A mutation and permits U1snRNA-based splicing correction.

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Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy.
Tytgat Institute for Liver and Intestinal Research, Amsterdam Gastroenterology and Metabolism, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy.


In tyrosinaemia type 1(HT1), a mosaic pattern of fumarylacetoacetase (FAH) immunopositive or immunonegative nodules in liver tissue has been reported in many patients. This aspect is generally explained by a spontaneous reversion of the mutation into a normal genotype. In one HT1 patient carrying the frequent FAH c.1062+5G>A mutation, a second somatic change (c.1061C>A) has been reported in the same allele, and found in immunopositive nodules. Here, we demonstrated that the c.1062+5G>A prevents usage of the exon 12 5' splice site (ss), even when forced by an engineered U1snRNA specifically designed on the FAH 5'ss to strengthen its recognition. Noticeably the new somatic c.1061C>A change, in linkage with the c.1062+5G>A mutation, partially rescues the defective 5'ss and is associated to trace level (~5%) of correct transcripts. Interestingly, this combined genetic condition strongly favored the rescue by the engineered U1snRNA, with correct transcripts reaching up to 60%. Altogether, these findings elucidate the molecular basis of HT1 caused by the frequent FAH c.1062+5G>A mutation, and demonstrate the compensatory effect of the c.1061C>A change in promoting exon definition, thus unraveling a rare mechanism leading to FAH immune-reactive mosaicism.

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