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Hum Genet. 1996 Aug;98(2):138-40.

Small increase in triplet repeat length of cerebellum from patients with myotonic dystrophy.

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Department of Inherited Metabolic Diseases, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo, Japan.


Myotonic dystrophy (DM) is genetically characterized by abnormal expansion of an unstable CTG trinucleotide repeat, located in the 3'-untranslated region of mRNA encoding the family of serine-threonine protein kinases. DNA extracted from various organs of patients with DM was analyzed by the Southern blotting method. We identified differently expanded bands in DNAs from various tissues from patients with DM. In studying the length of the CTG repeat in different regions of the brain, we found a noticeably small increase in repeat length in the cerebellum compared with other tissues. While this phenomenon has been reported in other triplet repeat diseases such as Huntington disease, spinocerebellar ataxia type 1, and dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy, we are the first to describe it in DM. Although the mechanism of expansion of the triplet repeat remains to be defined, the tissue-dependent somatic mosaicism suggests that its occurrence may depend on the differentiated state of each tissue.

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