Large rearrangements detected by MLPA, point mutations, and survey of the frequency of mutations within the SLC3A1 and SLC7A9 genes in a cohort of 172 cystinuric Italian patients

Mol Genet Metab. 2010 Jan;99(1):42-52. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2009.09.001.


Cystinuria is a rare inherited disorder characterized by defective renal reabsorption of cystine and the dibasic amino acids. SLC3A1 and SLC7A9 have been identified as responsible genes. The large majority of the more than 200 mutations so far identified in the two genes are point mutations, while only few alleles carrying gross genomic alterations have been reported. We screened 39 cystinuric patients for large rearrangements, by two home-made multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) assays. MLPA analysis led to the identification of 6 different alleles in SLC3A1 and 2 in SLC7A9 accounting for a total of 25 copy number changes, 11 in SLC3A1 and 14 in SLC7A9. Three large rearrangements in SLC3A1, deletion of exons 2-4 (E2_E4del), deletion of exons 5-6 (E5_E6del) and duplication of exons 8-9 (E8_E9dup) are novel. A complete SLC7A9 gene deletion was found in three patients. In addition, we report the identification of three novel point mutations in SLC7A9 (p.G105E, p.R250K, c.1416_1417insAC), the frequency and the occurrence of cystinuria mutations in a cohort of 172 Italian patients. In conclusion, we developed a reliable and robust MLPA analytic method for SLC3A1 and SLC7A9 genes that represents an optimal complement to DNA sequence analysis in patients with cystinuria, enabling the screening for deletions and duplications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Transport Systems, Basic / genetics*
  • Amino Acid Transport Systems, Neutral / genetics*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cystinuria / diagnosis
  • Cystinuria / genetics*
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Family Health
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • Genetic Testing / methods
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques / methods
  • Point Mutation*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Amino Acid Transport Systems, Basic
  • Amino Acid Transport Systems, Neutral
  • SLC3A1 protein, human
  • SLC7A9 protein, human