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Insertion of a 5' truncated L1 element into the 3' end of exon 44 of the dystrophin gene resulted in skipping of the exon during splicing in a case of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

  • Narita, N
  • Nishio, H
  • Kitoh, Y
  • Ishikawa, Y
  • Ishikawa, Y
  • Minami, R
  • Nakamura, H
  • Matsuo, M
Published Article
Journal of Clinical Investigation
American Society for Clinical Investigation
Publication Date
May 01, 1993
PMID: 8387534


We report here the second evidence of retrotransposition of L1, which was found inserted into the dystrophin gene of a patient, causing Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). When the PCR was used to amplify a region of the dystrophin gene encompassing exon 44 from genomic DNA of two Japanese brothers with DMD, it was found to be approximately 600 bp larger than expected. Both the normal and the abnormally large products were amplified from the DNA of their mother. However, the maternal grandparents did not have the abnormal allele, and the mutation must therefore have occurred in the mother. Analysis of nucleotide sequence of the amplified product from a patient disclosed that the insertion was present zero to two bases upstream from the 3' end of exon 44 and that two to four bases of the exon sequence were deleted from the insertion site. The insertion sequence was found to be composed of 606-608 bp and to be almost identical to the inverse complement of 3' portion of the L1 retrotransposon consensus sequence. The dystrophin gene transcript from peripheral lymphocytes of one of the patients was analyzed by using reverse transcription/semi-nested PCR. The size of the amplified product encompassing exon 42 to 46 was smaller than expected. Sequencing of the amplified product disclosed that the sequence of exon 43 was directly joined to that of exon 45. Exon 44 of the transcript was thus shown to be skipped during splicing. This novel mutation of the dystrophin gene has important implications regarding retrotransposition of an active L1 element and provides a new insight into the origins of mutations in the dystrophin gene.

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