Different familial adenomatous polyposis phenotypes resulting from deletions of the entire APC exon 15

Hum Genet. 2002 Jul;111(1):88-95. doi: 10.1007/s00439-002-0758-7. Epub 2002 Jun 14.


Germline mutations of the adenomatous polyposis coli ( APC) gene cause familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), an autosomal, dominantly inherited disease that predisposes patients to colorectal cancer. The APC gene is composed of 15 coding exons and encodes an open reading frame of 8.5 kb. The 3' 6.5 kb of the APCopen reading frame is encoded by a single exon, exon 15. Most identified APC mutations are at the 5' half of the APC open reading frame and are nucleotide substitutions and small deletions or insertions that result in truncation of the APC protein. Very few well-characterized gross alterations of APC have been reported. Patients with FAP typically develop hundreds to thousands of colorectal tumors beginning in their adolescence. A subgroup of patients with FAP who develop fewer tumors at an older age have what is called attenuated FAP (AFAP). Accumulating evidence indicates that patients carrying germline APC mutations in the first four coding exons, in the alternatively spliced region of exon 9, or in the 3' half of the coding region usually develop AFAP. We characterized two germline APC alterations that deleted the entire APC exon 15 as the result of 56-kb and 73-kb deletions at the APC locus. A surprising finding was that one proband had the typical FAP phenotype, whereas the other had a phenotype consistent with that of AFAP.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli / genetics*
  • Adult
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • DNA Primers / chemistry
  • Exons / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gene Deletion*
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • Genes, APC*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phenotype
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Recombination, Genetic


  • DNA Primers