(1/26608) Ancestral origins and worldwide distribution of the PRNP 200K mutation causing familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) belongs to a group of prion diseases that may be infectious, sporadic, or hereditary. The 200K point mutation in the PRNP gene is the most frequent cause of hereditary CJD, accounting for >70% of families with CJD worldwide. Prevalence of the 200K variant of familial CJD is especially high in Slovakia, Chile, and Italy, and among populations of Libyan and Tunisian Jews. To study ancestral origins of the 200K mutation-associated chromosomes, we selected microsatellite markers flanking the PRNP gene on chromosome 20p12-pter and an intragenic single-nucleotide polymorphism at the PRNP codon 129. Haplotypes were constructed for 62 CJD families originating from 11 world populations. The results show that Libyan, Tunisian, Italian, Chilean, and Spanish families share a major haplotype, suggesting that the 200K mutation may have originated from a single mutational event, perhaps in Spain, and spread to all these populations with Sephardic migrants expelled from Spain in the Middle Ages. Slovakian families and a family of Polish origin show another unique haplotype. The haplotypes in families from Germany, Sicily, Austria, and Japan are different from the Mediterranean or eastern European haplotypes. On the basis of this study, we conclude that founder effect and independent mutational events are responsible for the current geographic distribution of hereditary CJD associated with the 200K mutation.  (+info)

(2/26608) Linkage disequilibrium at the ADH2 and ADH3 loci and risk of alcoholism.

Two of the three class I alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) genes (ADH2 and ADH3) encode known functional variants that act on alcohol with different efficiencies. Variants at both these genes have been implicated in alcoholism in some populations because allele frequencies differ between alcoholics and controls. Specifically, controls have higher frequencies of the variants with higher Vmax (ADH2*2 and ADH3*1). In samples both of alcoholics and of controls from three Taiwanese populations (Chinese, Ami, and Atayal) we found significant pairwise disequilibrium for all comparisons of the two functional polymorphisms and a third, presumably neutral, intronic polymorphism in ADH2. The class I ADH genes all lie within 80 kb on chromosome 4; thus, variants are not inherited independently, and haplotypes must be analyzed when evaluating the risk of alcoholism. In the Taiwanese Chinese we found that, only among those chromosomes containing the ADH3*1 variant (high Vmax), the proportions of chromosomes with ADH2*1 (low Vmax) and those with ADH2*2 (high Vmax) are significantly different between alcoholics and controls (P<10-5). The proportions of chromosomes with ADH3*1 and those with ADH3*2 are not significantly different between alcoholics and controls, on a constant ADH2 background (with ADH2*1, P=.83; with ADH2*2, P=.53). Thus, the observed differences in the frequency of the functional polymorphism at ADH3, between alcoholics and controls, can be accounted for by the disequilibrium with ADH2 in this population.  (+info)

(3/26608) Variegate porphyria in Western Europe: identification of PPOX gene mutations in 104 families, extent of allelic heterogeneity, and absence of correlation between phenotype and type of mutation.

Variegate porphyria (VP) is a low-penetrance, autosomal dominant disorder characterized clinically by skin lesions and acute neurovisceral attacks that occur separately or together. It results from partial deficiency of protoporphyrinogen oxidase encoded by the PPOX gene. VP is relatively common in South Africa, where most patients have inherited the same mutation in the PPOX gene from a common ancestor, but few families from elsewhere have been studied. Here we describe the molecular basis and clinical features of 108 unrelated patients from France and the United Kingdom. Mutations in the PPOX gene were identified by a combination of screening (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, heteroduplex analysis, or denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography) and direct automated sequencing of amplified genomic DNA. A total of 60 novel and 6 previously reported mutations (25 missense, 24 frameshift, 10 splice site, and 7 nonsense) were identified in 104 (96%) of these unrelated patients, together with 3 previously unrecognized single-nucleotide polymorphisms. VP is less heterogeneous than other acute porphyrias; 5 mutations were present in 28 (26%) of the families, whereas 47 mutations were restricted to 1 family; only 2 mutations were found in both countries. The pattern of clinical presentation was identical to that reported from South Africa and was not influenced by type of mutation. Our results define the molecular genetics of VP in western Europe, demonstrate its allelic heterogeneity outside South Africa, and show that genotype is not a significant determinant of mode of presentation.  (+info)

(4/26608) Multi-forms of human MTH1 polypeptides produced by alternative translation initiation and single nucleotide polymorphism.

The human MTH1 gene for 8-oxo-7,8-dihydrodeoxyguanosine triphosphatase, produces seven types (types 1, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 4A and 4B) of mRNAs. The B-type mRNAs with exon 2b-2c segments have three additional in-frame AUGs in their 5' regions. We report here that these transcripts produce three forms of MTH1 polypeptides (p22, p21 and p18) in in vitro translation reactions. Three polypeptides were also detected in extracts of human cells, using western blotting. B-type mRNAs with a polymorphic alteration (GU-->GC) at the beginning of exon 2c that converts an in-frame UGA to CGA yielding another in-frame AUG further upstream, produced an additional polypeptide (p26) in vitro. Substitution of each AUG abolished the production of each corresponding polypeptide. Cell lines from individuals with the GC allele contain more B-type mRNAs than do those of GT homozygotes, and the former produce all of four polypeptides but the latter lack p26. Amounts of each polypeptide reflected copy number of the GC allele in each cell line. There is an apparent linkage dis-equilibrium between the two polymorphic sites, GT/GC at exon 2c and Val83/Met83 at codon 83 for p18.  (+info)

(5/26608) Is selection responsible for the low level of variation in the last intron of the ZFY locus?

DNA variability was investigated in the last intron of the Y-chromosome-specific zinc finger gene, ZFY, and its X homolog on Xp21.3, ZFX. No polymorphisms were found in the 676-bp ZFY segment in a sample of 205 world-wide-distributed Y chromosomes, other than a solitary nucleotide variant in one individual (nucleotide diversity pi = 0.0014%). In contrast, 10 segregating sites (pi = 0.082%) were identified within 1,089 bp of the ZFX sequence in a sample of 336 X chromosomes. Four of these polymorphisms, which contributed most of the diversity, were located within an Alu insert disrupting the ZFY-ZFX homology (pi Alu = 0.24%). The diversity in the homologous portion of the ZFX intron, although higher than that in ZFY, was lower than that found in genomic segments believed to evolve neutrally; interspecies divergence in both segments was also reduced. Although this suggests that the evolution of both ZFY and ZFX homologs may not be entirely neutral, both Tajima and HKA tests did not reject neutrality. The lack of statistical significance may be attributed to a lack of power in these tests (the low divergence and variability values reduce the power of the HKA and Tajima tests, respectively); furthermore, Homo sapiens has recently undergone a rapid population growth, and selection is more difficult to detect in an expanding population. Therefore, the failure to reject neutrality does not necessarily indicate the absence of selection. In this context, the phylogenetic argument was given more weight in out interpretations. The high level of sequence identity in ZFY and ZFX segments, in spite of their separation 80-130 MYA, reflects a lower mutation rate as compared with other segments believed to undergo unconstrained evolution. Thus, the possibility of weak selection contributing to the low level of nucleotide diversity in the last ZFY intron cannot be excluded and should be kept in mind in the population genetics studies based on Y chromosome variability.  (+info)

(6/26608) Spectrum of hSNF5/INI1 somatic mutations in human cancer and genotype-phenotype correlations.

The hSNF5/INI1 gene which encodes a member of the SWI/SNF chromatin ATP-dependent remodeling complex, is a new tumor suppressor gene localized on chromosome 22q11.2 and recently shown to be mutated in malignant rhabdoid tumors. We have searched for hSNF5/INI1 mutations in 229 tumors of various origins using a screening method based on denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography. A total of 31 homozygous deletions and 36 point alterations were identified. Point mutations were scattered along the coding sequence and included 15 nonsense, 15 frameshift, three splice site, two missense and one editing mutations. Mutations were retrieved in most rhabdoid tumors, whatever their sites of occurrence, indicating the common pathogenetic origin of these tumors. Recurrent hSNF5/INI1 alterations were also observed in choroid plexus carcinomas and in a subset of central primitive neuroectodermal tumors (cPNETs) and medulloblastomas. In contrast, hSNF5/INI1 point mutations were not detected in breast cancers, Wilms' tumors, gliomas, ependymomas, sarcomas and other tumor types, even though most analyzed cases harbored loss of heterozygosity at 22q11.2 loci. These results suggest that rhabdoid tumors, choroid plexus carcinomas and a subset of medulloblastomas and cPNETs share common pathways of oncogenesis related to hSNF5/INI1 alteration and that hSNF5/INI1 mutations define a genetically homogeneous family of highly aggressive cancers mainly occurring in young children and frequently, but not always, exhibiting a rhabdoid phenotype.  (+info)

(7/26608) DNA transport by a micromachined Brownian ratchet device.

We have micromachined a silicon-chip device that transports DNA with a Brownian ratchet that rectifies the Brownian motion of microscopic particles. Transport properties for a DNA 50-mer agree with theoretical predictions, and the DNA diffusion constant agrees with previous experiments. This type of micromachine could provide a generic pump or separation component for DNA or other charged species as part of a microscale lab-on-a-chip. A device with reduced feature size could produce a size-based separation of DNA molecules, with applications including the detection of single-nucleotide polymorphisms.  (+info)

(8/26608) Direct sequencing of bacterial and P1 artificial chromosome-nested deletions for identifying position-specific single-nucleotide polymorphisms.

A loxP-transposon retrofitting strategy for generating large nested deletions from one end of the insert DNA in bacterial artificial chromosomes and P1 artificial chromosomes was described recently [Chatterjee, P. K. & Coren, J. S. (1997) Nucleic Acids Res. 25, 2205-2212]. In this report, we combine this procedure with direct sequencing of nested-deletion templates by using primers located in the transposon end to illustrate its value for position-specific single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) discovery from chosen regions of large insert clones. A simple ampicillin sensitivity screen was developed to facilitate identification and recovery of deletion clones free of transduced transposon plasmid. This directed approach requires minimal DNA sequencing, and no in vitro subclone library generation; positionally oriented SNPs are a consequence of the method. The procedure is used to discover new SNPs as well as physically map those identified from random subcloned libraries or sequence databases. The deletion templates, positioned SNPs, and markers are also used to orient large insert clones into a contig. The deletion clone can serve as a ready resource for future functional genomic studies because each carries a mammalian cell-specific antibiotic resistance gene from the transposon. Furthermore, the technique should be especially applicable to the analysis of genomes for which a full genome sequence or radiation hybrid cell lines are unavailable.  (+info)