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A novel somatic mutation achieves partial rescue in a child with Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome.

Bar DZ, Arlt MF, Brazier JF, Norris WE, Campbell SE, Chines P, Larrieu D, Jackson SP, Collins FS, Glover TW, Gordon LB. Journal of Medical Genetics Dec 5 [Epub ahead of print]

BACKGROUND: Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is a fatal sporadic autosomal dominant premature ageing disease caused by single base mutations that optimise a cryptic splice site within exon 11 of the LMNA gene. The resultant disease-causing protein, progerin, acts as a dominant negative. Disease severity relies partly on progerin levels.
METHODS AND RESULTS: We report a novel form of somatic mosaicism, where a child possessed two cell populations with different HGPS disease-producing mutations of the same nucleotide-one producing severe HGPS and one mild HGPS. The proband possessed an intermediate phenotype. The mosaicism was initially discovered when Sanger sequencing showed a c.1968+2T>A mutation in blood DNA and a c.1968+2T>C in DNA from cultured fibroblasts. Deep sequencing of DNA from the proband's blood revealed 4.7% c.1968+2T>C mutation, and 41.3% c.1968+2T>A mutation.
CONCLUSIONS: We hypothesise that the germline mutation was c.1968+2T>A, but a rescue event occurred during early development, where the somatic mutation from A to C at 1968+2 provided a selective advantage. This type of mosaicism where a partial phenotypic rescue event results from a second but milder disease-causing mutation in the same nucleotide has not been previously characterised for any disease.

Kate Dry