Molecular diagnosis of neurofibromatosis type 1: 2 years experience

Fam Cancer. 2007;6(1):21-34. doi: 10.1007/s10689-006-9001-3.


Our experience of providing an NF1 gene diagnostic mutation detection service as part of the U.K. Genetic Testing Network (UKGTN) is presented. A total of 169 unrelated individuals suspected of having neurofibromatosis type I (NF1) were referred for NF1 diagnostic testing over a 2 year period. Mutation analysis of the entire NF1 coding region and the flanking splice sites was carried out, and included the use of a combination of FISH, dHPLC and MLPA. Possible disease causing mutations were identified in 109 (64%) cases. These comprised 88 different sequence alterations, of which 57 were novel. Out of the 169 cases referred, there were 102 patients with reliable clinical data, of whom 78 satisfied the NIH diagnostic criteria for NF1. Within this better defined cohort of NF1 patients, NF1 mutations were identified in 61 individuals (78%), showing the importance of clinical selection on overall test sensitivity, and highlighting the problem of full clinical data collection in the audit of routine services. As mutation detection technologies advance, facilitating direct sequencing of all coding and flanking non-coding regions of the NF1 gene, the development of an even more cost-effective, quick and sensitive diagnostic test for future testing of NF1 is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing / genetics
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods
  • DNA Mutational Analysis / methods*
  • Frameshift Mutation / genetics
  • Gene Deletion
  • Genes, Neurofibromatosis 1*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics
  • Heteroduplex Analysis
  • Humans
  • Mutation*
  • Neurofibromatosis 1 / diagnosis*
  • Neurofibromatosis 1 / epidemiology
  • Neurofibromatosis 1 / genetics*
  • Neurofibromin 1 / genetics*
  • Nucleic Acid Denaturation
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • RNA Splice Sites / genetics*
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology


  • Neurofibromin 1
  • RNA Splice Sites