Neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) is a genetic disorder caused by mutational inactivation of the NF2 gene and is characterized by bilateral vestibular schwannomas, spinal tumors, and other benign tumors of the nervous system. Previously, we found intragenic NF2 mutations in 99 of 188 unrelated NF2 patients by exon-scanning-based methods. Tumor analysis of 22 de novo NF2 patients led to the identification of 12 additional constitutive NF2 mutations. The remaining 77 patients were further examined for large alterations using the newly developed gene dosage assay multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA). One deletion of a single exon, seven deletions of multiple exons, seven deletions involving the 3' or 5' end of the NF2 gene, four deletions involving the whole NF2 gene, and one duplication of three exons were detected. For 47 of the 77 patients, mRNA of adequate quality could be obtained, enabling transcript analysis, which confirmed eight alterations detected by MLPA. In addition, in one family, the mRNA analysis detected an insertion of two exons of another gene. Thus, deletions, duplications, and insertions affecting the NF2 gene were found in 21 cases, which is 11% of the 188 unrelated NF2 patients studied, 16% of the 132 mutations identified, and 27% of the 77 cases in which no intragenic small mutations were detected by exon scanning. The combination of multiple screening techniques facilitated a mutation-detection rate of 100% for the 21 inherited cases in this study.
(c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.