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J Invest Dermatol. 1997 Aug;109(2):246-9.

Recurrent mutations in the type VII collagen gene (COL7A1) in patients with recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa.

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Department of Cell Pathology, St. John's Institute of Dermatology (UMDS), St. Thomas's Hospital, London, UK.


Mutations in the type VII collagen gene (COL7A1) are known to underlie different forms of the inherited blistering skin disease dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB). Most COL7A1 mutations are unique to individual families, and therefore it is usually necessary to screen all 118 exons of the gene to determine the molecular pathology in a patient with DEB. This study aimed to identify any recurrent mutations in COL7A1 that might be applicable to mutation-detection strategies in these patients. Mutational analysis was undertaken in 23 British patients with autosomal recessive DEB using PCR amplification of genomic DNA followed by heteroduplex analysis, nucleotide sequencing, and restriction site analysis. Two recurrent mutations were identified: R578X (6 of 46 alleles) and 7786delG (7 of 46 alleles). Haplotype analysis revealed that the mutations existed on similar allelic backgrounds in different patients, consistent with propagation of common British ancestral haplotypes, although R578X and 7786delG also have been described in DEB patients from other ethnic backgrounds. Given the high relative frequency of these two COL7A1 mutations, British patients with recessive DEB should be screened initially for these nucleotide changes by PCR amplification of genomic DNA and restriction analysis before more exhaustive screening of COL7A1.

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