Intragenic deletions in 21 Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD)/Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD) families studied with the dystrophin cDNA: Location of breakpoints on HindIII and BglII exon-containing fragment maps, meiotic and mitotic origin of the mutations

B. T. Darras, P. Blattner, J. F. Harper, A. J. Spiro, S. Alter, U. Francke

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Following the strategy outlined in an accompanying paper, we studied 32 X-linked muscular dystrophy families (29 Duchenne [DMD][ and three Becker [BMD] type) for abnormalities of HindIII and BglII fragments detected by the entire dystrophin cDNA. Twenty-one different single-intragenic deletions, and no duplications, were identified. The deletion endpoints were precisely mapped on the published HindIII fragment map. Detailed analysis of overlapping deletions led to clarification of the fragment order for some previously unsettled regions of the HindIII map and to the construction of a partial map of exon-containing BglII fragments. For the regions involved in deletions, the corresponding HindIII and BglIII fragments could be identified. Noncontiguous comigrating fragments were detected in two regions by careful analysis of the patterns in deletion patients. Four of the 21 deletions generated novel restriction fragments that facilitated detection of female carriers in these families. Twelve of the deletions had a breakpoint in one of the two large introns known to be the sites of breakpoint clusters. By combining deletions and RFLP analyses, we unequivocally identified the gamete that the first carried the mutation in 13 families: eight oocytes and five sperm. Germ-line mosaicism previously detected in one male was confirmed by cDNA studies. In two additional families gonadal mosaicism was found in females. As evidence is accumulating for frequent mitotic origin of these deletion mutations, this phenomenon has to be considered when postulating mutational mechanisms and in genetic counseling of DMD/BMD families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)620-629
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1988


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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