Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is one of the most common genetic disorders in humans with an incidence of 1 in 3500. Most of the NF1 mutations reported so far (over 240 mutations) are unique. Specific prenatal diagnosis can only be provided to familial cases by an indirect linkage analysis or to families with a previously identified mutation. Here we report the first prenatal diagnosis in sporadic NF1 by direct characterization of the mutation. We first identified the skipping of exon 10b of NF1 in the mRNA from a woman affected by NF1 and without familial history of the disease. The analysis of genomic DNA identified mutation IVS10b+1G-->A as the cause of the skipping of exon 10b. Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) was performed at 10 weeks of gestation and total RNA was directly extracted from the sample. After reverse transcription (RT) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of the cDNA, the skipping of exon 10b was not identified in the CVS upon agarose gel electrophoresis. The fetal origin of the CVS was confirmed via polymorphic markers and the absence of the IVS10b+1G-->A mutation was confirmed by genomic analysis.
Copyright 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.