Molecular genetic and phenotypic analysis reveals differences between TSC1 and TSC2 associated familial and sporadic tuberous sclerosis

Hum Mol Genet. 1997 Nov;6(12):2155-61. doi: 10.1093/hmg/6.12.2155.


Tuberous sclerosis (TSC) is an autosomal dominant disorder characterised by the development of hamartomatous growths in many organs. Sixty to seventy percent of cases are sporadic and appear to represent new mutations. TSC exhibits locus heterogeneity: the TSC2 gene is located at 16p13.3 whilst the TSC1 gene, predicted to encode a novel protein termed hamartin, has recently been cloned from 9q34. With the exception of a contiguous gene deletion syndrome involving TSC2 and PKD1 , TSC1 and TSC2 phenotypes have been considered identical. We have now comprehensively defined the TSC1 mutational spectrum in 171 sequentially ascertained, unrelated TSC patients by single strand conformation polymorphism and heteroduplex analysis of all 21 coding exons, and by assaying a restriction fragment spanning the whole locus. Mutations were identified in 9/24 familial cases, but in only 13/147 sporadic cases. In contrast, a limited screen revealed TSC2 mutations in two of the familial cases and in 45 of the sporadic cases. Thus TSC1 mutations were significantly under-represented among sporadic cases (Fisher's exact p -value = 3.12 x 10(-4)). Both large deletions and missense mutations were common at the TSC2 locus whereas most TSC1 mutations were small truncating lesions. Mental retardation was significantly less frequent among carriers of TSC1 than TSC2 mutations (odds ratio 5.54 for sporadic cases only, 6.78 +/- 1.54 when a single randomly selected patient per multigeneration family was also included). No correlation between mental retardation and the type of mutation was found. We conclude that there is a reduced risk of mental retardation in TSC1 as opposed to TSC2 disease and that consequent ascertainment bias, at least in part, explains the relative paucity of TSC1 mutations in sporadic TSC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / genetics
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype*
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics*
  • Tuberous Sclerosis / genetics*
  • Tuberous Sclerosis Complex 1 Protein
  • Tuberous Sclerosis Complex 2 Protein
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins


  • Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • TSC1 protein, human
  • TSC2 protein, human
  • Tuberous Sclerosis Complex 1 Protein
  • Tuberous Sclerosis Complex 2 Protein
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins