Nemaline myopathy (NM) constitutes a heterogeneous group of congenital myopathies. Mutations in the nebulin gene (NEB) are the main cause of recessively inherited NM. NEB is one of the most largest genes in human. To date, 68 NEB mutations, mainly small deletions or point mutations have been published. The only large mutation characterized is the 2.5 kb deletion of exon 55 in the Ashkenazi Jewish population. To investigate any copy number variations in this enormous gene, we designed a novel custom comparative genomic hybridization microarray, NM-CGH, targeted towards the seven known genes causative for NM. During the validation of the NM-CGH array we identified two novel deletions in two different families. The first is the largest deletion characterized in NEB to date, (∼53 kb) encompassing 24 exons. The second deletion (1 kb) covers two exons. In both families, the copy number change was the second mutation to be characterized and shown to have been inherited from one of the healthy carrier parents. In addition to these novel mutations, copy number variation was identified in four samples in three families in the triplicate region of NEB. We conclude that this method appears promising for the detection of copy number variations in NEB.
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