Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is a rare inherited bone-marrow failure syndrome with high clinical heterogeneity. Cells derived from DC patients present short telomeres at early ages, as a result of mutations in genes encoding components of the telomerase complex (DKC1, TERC, TERT, NHP2 and NOP10), or the shelterin complex (TINF2). However, mutations have been identified only in around 50% of the cases, indicating that other genes could be involved in the development of this disease. Indeed, mutations in TCBA1 or chromosome segment C16orf57 have been described recently. We have used HRM technology to perform genetic analysis in the above mentioned genes, in Spanish patients showing both, some clinical features of DC and short telomeres. The mutations have been identified by PCR amplification of DC genes followed by high resolution melting (HRM) and direct DNA sequencing analysis. We have identified seven new families with DC, three with X-linked DC and four with autosomal dominant DC, in which we have found two novel mutations in DKC1 (p.His68Arg and p.Lys390del) and four novel mutations in TERT gene (p.Pro530Leu, p.Arg698Trp, p.Arg971His and p.Arg698Gln). The results show that the use of HRM analysis enables a rapid and inexpensive identification of mutations in dyskeratosis congenita associated genes.
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