cDNA analyses of CAPN3 enhance mutation detection and reveal a low prevalence of LGMD2A patients in Denmark

Morten Duno, Marie-Louise Sveen, Marianne Schwartz, John Vissing
European Journal of Human Genetics: EJHG 2008, 16 (8): 935-40
Calpainopathy or limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A (LGMD2A) is generally recognized as the most prevalent form of recessive LGMD and is caused by mutations in the CAPN3 gene. Out of a cohort of 119 patients fulfilling clinical criteria for LGMD2, referred to our neuromuscular clinic, 46 were suspected to have LGMD2A, based on western blot results. Four of these patients were shown to have LGMD2I upon molecular analysis, whereas 16 of the remaining 42 patients harbored mutations in CAPN3 by both direct genomic sequencing and cDNA analyses. In 10 patients, we identified both mutant alleles. In three other, only one heterozygous mutation could be identified on the genomic level; however, CAPN3 cDNA analyses demonstrated homozygosity for the mutant allele, indicating the presence of an unidentified allele that somehow compromise correct CAPN3 RNA processing. In the three remaining patients, only a single heterozygous mutation could be identified both at the genomic level and on full-length CAPN3 cDNA. All three patients exhibited a highly abnormal western blot for calpain-3 and clinical characteristics of LGMD2A. Only three of the genetically confirmed LGMD2A patients were of Danish origin, indicating a five- to sixfold lower prevalence in Denmark compared to other European countries. A total of 16 different CAPN3 mutations were identified, of which 5 were novel. The present study demonstrates the value of cDNA analysis for CAPN3 in LGMD2A patients and indicates that calpainopathy is an uncommon cause of LGMD in the Denmark.

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