Large intron 14 rearrangement in APC results in splice defect and attenuated FAP

Hum Genet. 2010 Mar;127(3):359-69. doi: 10.1007/s00439-009-0776-9. Epub 2009 Dec 22.


Familial adenomatous polyposis [FAP (OMIM 175100)] is an autosomal dominant colorectal cancer predisposition syndrome characterized by hundreds to thousands of colonic polyps and, if untreated by a combination of screening and/or surgical intervention, an approximately 99% lifetime risk of colorectal cancer. A subset of FAP patients develop an attenuated form of the condition characterized by lower numbers of colonic polyps (highly variable, but generally less than 100) and a lower lifetime risk of colorectal cancer, on the order of 70%. We report the diagnosis of three attenuated FAP families due to a 1.4-kb deletion within intron 14 of APC, originally reported clinically as a variant of unknown significance (VUS). Sequence analysis suggests that this arose through an Alu-mediated recombination event with a locus on chromosome 6q22.1. This mutation is inherited by family members who presented with an attenuated FAP phenotype, with variable age of onset and severity. Sequence analysis of mRNA revealed an increase in the level of aberrant splicing of exon 14, resulting in the generation of an exon 13-exon 15 splice-form that is predicted to lead to a frameshift and protein truncation at codon 673. The relatively mild phenotypic presentation and the intra-familial variation are consistent with the leaky nature of exon 14 splicing in normal APC. The inferred founder of these three families may account for as yet undetected affected branches of this kindred. This and similar types of intronic mutations may account for a significant proportion of FAP cases where APC clinical analysis fails because of the current limitations of testing options.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli / diagnosis*
  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli / genetics*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alternative Splicing / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Female
  • Gene Deletion
  • Genes, APC*
  • Humans
  • Introns / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Pedigree
  • Polymorphism, Genetic* / physiology
  • RNA Splice Sites / genetics
  • Young Adult


  • RNA Splice Sites