Two novel truncating variants of the AAAS gene causative of the triple A syndrome

V Vezzoli, P Duminuco, G Pogliaghi, M Saccone, B Cangiano, M C Rosatelli, A Meloni, L Persani, M Bonomi
Journal of Endocrinological Investigation 2020 January 14

PURPOSE: The triple A syndrome (AAAS) is an inherited condition associated with mutations in the AAAS gene, which encodes a protein of 546 amino acids known as ALADIN (alacrima achalasia adrenal insufficiency neurologic disorder) whose function is not well understood. This protein belongs to the WD-repeat family of regulatory proteins and is located in the nuclear pore complexes. Only a few cohorts of AAAS patients have been reported and fully characterized. Thus, the objective of the present study was to report on a mini cohort of Italian AAAS patients and to get insights on their predisposing genetic defects.

METHODS: Genetic analysis of AAAS gene in triple A syndrome patient and molecular and functional characterization of the novel identified allelic variants.

RESULTS: Here we describe three newly diagnosed cases of AAAS, in whom genetic analysis allowed us to identify two novel allelic variants in the AAAS gene: the frameshift substitution c.765 dupT (p.Gly256Trp fsX67) in exon 8 and the splice site mutation in intron 11(c.997-2 A > G, IVS11-2A > G). Both variants result in a truncated non-functional protein, as we demonstrate by transcript analysis and expression studies.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings establish a pathogenic role for both new variants. Moreover, our data highlight the essential role of the C-terminal domain of the protein for its correct targeting and function and underline the importance of sequencing splice sites surrounding the intron-exon junctions to ensure accurate molecular diagnosis and correct genetic counseling in AAAS patients.

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