Epidermolysis bullosa simplex: recurrent and de novo mutations in the KRT5 and KRT14 genes, phenotype/genotype correlations, and implications for genetic counseling and prenatal diagnosis

J Invest Dermatol. 2005 Aug;125(2):239-43. doi: 10.1111/j.0022-202X.2005.23818.x.


Epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS) is a mechano-bullous disorder characterized by intraepidermal blistering within the basal keratinocytes as a result of trauma to the skin. As part of the DNA diagnostics program, our laboratory has analyzed a cohort of 57 patients with the initial referral diagnosis of EBS. Among these patients, 18 were found to harbor heterozygous mutations in the keratin 5 or keratin 14 genes, KRT5 and KRT14, respectively, whereas in 14 cases, the disease was associated with mutations in both alleles of the plectin gene. Among the keratin mutations, 12 were distinct and six were novel, and in most cases there was no family history of a blistering disease. Prenatal diagnosis of eight pregnancies with keratin gene mutations, at risk for EBS either because one of the parents was affected (three cases) or history of a previously affected child as a result of a de novo mutation (five cases), predicted two fetuses being affected and six being normal. No recurrence of the de novo mutations in these pregnancies was disclosed. Collectively, the data suggest that a significant number of cases diagnosed as EBS are due to plectin mutations, and many cases result from de novo mutations in KRT5 and KRT14 genes. These findings have implications for genetic counseling and prenatal diagnosis for EBS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa Simplex / genetics*
  • Genetic Counseling*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Intermediate Filament Proteins / genetics
  • Keratin-14
  • Keratin-5
  • Keratins / genetics*
  • Phenotype
  • Plectin
  • Prenatal Diagnosis*
  • Recurrence


  • Intermediate Filament Proteins
  • KRT14 protein, human
  • KRT5 protein, human
  • Keratin-14
  • Keratin-5
  • PLEC protein, human
  • Plectin
  • Keratins