We report the presence of a hemizygous inactivating germ-line RB1 mutation (a recurrent g.78250C-->T transition, resulting in a stop codon in exon 17) in peripheral blood DNA from a patient with hereditary bilateral retinoblastoma. Hemizygosity was established by sequencing that showed no traces of the wild-type C nucleotide and by quantitative real-time PCR, which showed loss of one copy of exon 17. Genotyping of the RB1 locus with several polymorphic markers delineated a maximal deletion region between g.76875 and g.99426, including exons 15-17 and a large piece (21 kb) of intron 17. The heterozygosity for the mutation found in skin fibroblasts proves that the intragenic RB1 deletion probably took place in the definitive hematopoietic lineage of the patient. The presence of a null Rb-/- genotype in the hematopoietic cell lineage suggests that the white blood cells of the proband could be useful in the investigation of the role of complementary RBI family proteins in the control of the cell cycle.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.