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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1997 Jul 9;236(1):151-4.

Down-regulation of the defective transcripts of the Werner's syndrome gene in the cells of patients.

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  • 1AGENE Research Institute, Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan.


Werner's syndrome (WS), an adult progeria, is a recessive genetic disorder caused by the mutations in the DNA helicase gene (WRN). In this study, a comparative northern blot analysis was made for poly(A)+ RNAs extracted from fibroblasts and B-lymphoblastoid cells of WS patients, relatives of patients, and normal individuals. The levels of mutant WRN mRNA from patient cells were significantly lower than those of intact mRNA from the cells of normal individuals by an average of 70%. Furthermore, an extremely low level of WRN mRNA(s), presumably a mixture of mutant and intact mRNAs, was observed for the patient's family members who carry one mutated allele. These results strongly suggest that a relatively low level of helicase mRNA is sufficient to prevent the onset of Werner's syndrome.

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