Low and High Expressing Alleles of the LMNA Gene: Implications for Laminopathy Disease Development
by Sofía Rodríguez, Maria Eriksson
Today, there are at least a dozen different genetic disorders caused by mutations within the LMNA gene, and collectively, they are named laminopathies. Interestingly, the same mutation can cause phenotypes with different severities or even different disorders and might, in some cases, be asymptomatic. We hypothesized that one possible contributing mechanism for this phenotypic variability could be the existence of high and low expressing alleles in the LMNA locus. To investigate this hypothesis, we developed an allele-specific absolute quantification method for lamin A and lamin C transcripts using the polymorphic rs4641C/T LMNA coding SNP. The contribution of each allele to the total transcript level was investigated in nine informative human primary dermal fibroblast cultures from Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) and unaffected controls. Our results show differential expression of the two alleles. The C allele is more frequently expressed and accounts for ∼70% of the lamin A and lamin C transcripts. Analysis of samples from six patients with Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome showed that the c.1824C>T, p.G608G mutation is located in both the C and the T allele, which might account for the variability in phenotype seen among HGPS patients. Our method should be useful for further studies of human samples with mutations in the LMNA gene and to increase the understanding of the link between genotype and phenotype in laminopathies.
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