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, 53 (2), 233-41

Consequences of a Novel caveolin-3 Mutation in a Large German Family


Consequences of a Novel caveolin-3 Mutation in a Large German Family

Dirk Fischer et al. Ann Neurol.


Mutations in the human caveolin-3 gene (cav-3) on chromosome 3p25 have been described in limb girdle muscular dystrophy, rippling muscle disease, hyperCKemia, and distal myopathy. Here, we describe the genetic, myopathological, and clinical findings in a large German family harboring a novel heterozygous mutation (GAC-->GAA) in codon 27 of the cav-3 gene. This missense mutation causes an amino acid change from asparagine to glutamate (Asp27Glu) in the N-terminal region of the Cav-3 protein, which leads to a drastic decrease of Cav-3 protein expression in skeletal muscle tissue. In keeping with an autosomal dominant mode of inheritance, this novel cav-3 mutation was found to cosegregate with neuromuscular involvement in the reported family. Ultrastructural analysis of Cav-3-deficient muscle showed an abnormal folding of the plasma membrane as well as multiple vesicular structures in the subsarcolemmal region. Neurological examination of all nine subjects from three generations harboring the novel cav-3 mutation showed clear evidence of rippling muscle disease. However, only two of these nine patients showed isolated signs of rippling muscle disease without muscle weakness or atrophy, whereas five had additional signs of a distal myopathy and two fulfilled the diagnostic criteria of a coexisting limb girdle muscular dystrophy. These findings indicate that mutations in the human cav-3 gene can lead to different and overlapping clinical phenotypes even within the same family. Different clinical phenotypes in caveolinopathies may be attributed to so far unidentified modifying factors/genes in the individual genetic background of affected patients.

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