Spectrum of mutations in the Batten disease gene, CLN3

Am J Hum Genet. 1997 Aug;61(2):310-6. doi: 10.1086/514846.


Batten disease (juvenile-onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis [JNCL]) is an autosomal recessive condition characterized by accumulation of lipopigments (lipofuscin and ceroid) in neurons and other cell types. The Batten disease gene, CLN3, was recently isolated, and four disease-causing mutations were identified, including a 1.02-kb deletion that is present in the majority of patients (The International Batten Disease Consortium 1995). One hundred eighty-eight unrelated patients with JNCL were screened in this study to determine how many disease chromosomes carried the 1.02-kb deletion and how many carried other mutations in CLN3. One hundred thirty-nine patients (74%) were found to have the 1.02-kb deletion on both chromosomes, whereas 49 patients (41 heterozygous for the 1.02-kb deletion) had mutations other than the 1.02-kb deletion. SSCP analysis and direct sequencing were used to screen for new mutations in these individuals. Nineteen novel mutations were found: six missense mutations, five nonsense mutations, three small deletions, three small insertions, one intronic mutation, and one splice-site mutation. This report brings the total number of disease-associated mutations in CLN3 to 23. All patients homozygous for mutations predicted to give rise to truncated proteins were found to have classical JNCL. However, a proportion of the patients (n = 4) who were compound heterozygotes for a missense mutation and the 1.02-kb deletion were found to display an atypical phenotype that was dominated by visual failure rather than by severe neurodegeneration. All missense mutations were found to affect residues conserved between the human protein and homologues in diverse species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 16
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Genes
  • Humans
  • Membrane Glycoproteins*
  • Molecular Chaperones*
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional
  • Mutation*
  • Neuronal Ceroid-Lipofuscinoses / genetics*
  • Point Mutation
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Single-Stranded Conformational
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • Sequence Deletion


  • CLN3 protein, human
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Molecular Chaperones
  • Proteins