Asymptomatic carriers for homozygous novel mutations in the FKRP gene: the other end of the spectrum

Flavia de Paula, Natássia Vieira, Alessandra Starling, Lydia Uraco Yamamoto, Bruno Lima, Rita de Cássia Pavanello, Mariz Vainzof, Vincenzo Nigro, Mayana Zatz
European Journal of Human Genetics: EJHG 2003, 11 (12): 923-30
Autosomal recessive limb-girdle muscular dystrophy linked to 19q13.3 (LGMD2I) was recently related to mutations in the fukutin-related protein gene (FKRP) gene. Pathogenic changes in the same gene were detected in congenital muscular dystrophy patients (MDC1C), a severe disorder. We have screened 86 LGMD genealogies to assess the frequency and distribution of mutations in the FKRP gene in Brazilian LGMD patients. We found 13 Brazilian genealogies, including 20 individuals with mutations in the FKRP gene, and identified nine novel pathogenic changes. The commonest C826A European mutation was found in 30% (9/26) of the mutated LGMD2I alleles. One affected patient homozygous for the FKRP (C826A) mutation also carries a missense R125H change in one allele of the caveolin-3 gene (responsible for LGMD1C muscular dystrophy). Two of her normal sibs were found to be double heterozygotes. In two unrelated LGMD2I families, homozygous for novel missense mutations, we identified four asymptomatic carriers, all older than 20 years. Genotype-phenotype correlation studies in the present study as well as in patients from different populations suggests that the spectrum of variability associated with mutations in the FKRP gene seems to be wider than in other forms of LGMD. It also reinforces the observations that pathogenic mutations are not always determinant of an abnormal phenotype, suggesting the possibility of other mechanisms modulating the severity of the phenotype that opens new avenues for therapeutic approaches.

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