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Hum Mol Genet. 1996 Oct;5(10):1539-46.

Homozygous deletion mutations in the plectin gene (PLEC1) in patients with epidermolysis bullosa simplex associated with late-onset muscular dystrophy.

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Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA 19107-5541, USA.


In a distinct autosomal recessive variant of epidermolysis bullosa, EB-MD, life-long skin blistering is associated with late-onset muscular dystrophy of unknown etiology. Electron microscopy of these patients' skin suggests that tissue separation occurs intracellularly at the level of the hemidesmosomal inner plaque, which contains plectin, a high molecular weight cytoskeletal associated protein, also expressed in the sarcolemma of the muscle. In this study, we report two patients with EB-MD, each with a homozygous deletion mutation in the plectin gene, PLEC1. In the first case, the proband and her similarly affected sister had a homozygous 9 bp deletion mutation, designated as 2719de19, which resulted in elimination of three amino acids, QEA, in a sequence of 23 amino acids entirely conserved between the mouse and human sequences. The proband in the second family demonstrated a single nucleotide deletion at position 5866, designated as 5866delC, which resulted in frameshift and a premature termination codon for translation 16 bp downstream from the site of deletion. The absence of plectin in the hemidesmosomes, as reflected by negative immunofluorescence with an anti-plectin antibody (HD-1), associated with fragility of basal keratinocytes, implicates plectin as critical for binding of intermediate keratin filament network to hemidesmosomal complexes. The function of plectin as a putative attachment protein also in the muscle would explain the clinical phenotype consisting of cutaneous fragility and muscular dystrophy in EB-MD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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