Brain Regional Differences in Hexanucleotide Repeat Length in X-Linked Dystonia-Parkinsonism Using Nanopore Sequencing

Neurol Genet. 2021 Jul 6;7(4):e608. doi: 10.1212/NXG.0000000000000608. eCollection 2021 Aug.


Objective: Our study investigated the presence of regional differences in hexanucleotide repeat number in postmortem brain tissues of 2 patients with X-linked dystonia-parkinsonism (XDP), a combined dystonia-parkinsonism syndrome modified by a (CCCTCT)n repeat within the causal SINE-VNTR-Alu retrotransposon insertion in the TAF1 gene.

Methods: Genomic DNA was extracted from blood and postmortem brain samples, including the basal ganglia and cortex from both patients and from the cerebellum, midbrain, and pituitary gland from 1 patient. Repeat sizing was performed using fragment analysis, small-pool PCR-based Southern blotting, and Oxford nanopore sequencing.

Results: The basal ganglia (p < 0.001) and cerebellum (p < 0.001) showed higher median repeat numbers and higher degrees of repeat instability compared with blood.

Conclusions: Somatic repeat instability may predominate in brain regions selectively affected in XDP, thereby hinting at its potential role in disease manifestation and modification.