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Pseudoexon activation increases phenotype severity in a Becker muscular dystrophy patient

Greer, K., Mizzi, K., Rice, E., Kuster, L., Barrero, R.A., Bellgard, M.I., Lynch, B.J., Foley, A.R., O Rathallaigh, E., Wilton, S.D. and Fletcher, S. (2015) Pseudoexon activation increases phenotype severity in a Becker muscular dystrophy patient. Molecular Genetics & Genomic Medicine, 3 (4). pp. 320-326.

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We report a dystrophinopathy patient with an in-frame deletion of DMD exons 45–47, and therefore a genetic diagnosis of Becker muscular dystrophy, who presented with a more severe than expected phenotype. Analysis of the patient DMD mRNA revealed an 82 bp pseudoexon, derived from intron 44, that disrupts the reading frame and is expected to yield a nonfunctional dystrophin. Since the sequence of the pseudoexon and canonical splice sites does not differ from the reference sequence, we concluded that the genomic rearrangement promoted recognition of the pseudoexon, causing a severe dystrophic phenotype. We characterized the deletion breakpoints and identified motifs that might influence selection of the pseudoexon. We concluded that the donor splice site was strengthened by juxtaposition of intron 47, and loss of intron 44 silencer elements, normally located downstream of the pseudoexon donor splice site, further enhanced pseudoexon selection and inclusion in the DMD transcript in this patient.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Comparative Genomics
Publisher: Wiley
Copyright: © 2015 The Authors
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