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Disease-causing mutations improving the branch site and polypyrimidine tract: pseudoexon activation of LINE-2 and antisense Alu lacking the poly(T)-tail


Meili, D; Kralovicova, J; Zagalak, J; Bonafé, L; Fiori, L; Blau, N; Thöny, B; Vorechovsky, I (2009). Disease-causing mutations improving the branch site and polypyrimidine tract: pseudoexon activation of LINE-2 and antisense Alu lacking the poly(T)-tail. Human Mutation, 30(5):823-831.

Abstract

Cryptic exons or pseudoexons are typically activated by point mutations that create GT or AG dinucleotides of new 5' or 3' splice sites in introns, often in repetitive elements. Here we describe two cases of tetrahydrobiopterin deficiency caused by mutations improving the branch point sequence and polypyrimidine tracts of repeat-containing pseudoexons in the PTS gene. In the first case, we demonstrate a novel pathway of antisense Alu exonization, resulting from an intronic deletion that removed the poly(T)-tail of antisense AluSq. The deletion brought a favorable branch point sequence within proximity of the pseudoexon 3' splice site and removed an upstream AG dinucleotide required for the 3' splice site repression on normal alleles. New Alu exons can thus arise in the absence of poly(T)-tails that facilitated inclusion of most transposed elements in mRNAs by serving as polypyrimidine tracts, highlighting extraordinary flexibility of Alu repeats in shaping intron-exon structure. In the other case, a PTS pseudoexon was activated by an A>T substitution 9 nt upstream of its 3' splice site in a LINE-2 sequence, providing the first example of a disease-causing exonization of the most ancient interspersed repeat. These observations expand the spectrum of mutational mechanisms that introduce repetitive sequences in mature transcripts and illustrate the importance of intronic mutations in alternative splicing and phenotypic variability of hereditary disorders.

Cryptic exons or pseudoexons are typically activated by point mutations that create GT or AG dinucleotides of new 5' or 3' splice sites in introns, often in repetitive elements. Here we describe two cases of tetrahydrobiopterin deficiency caused by mutations improving the branch point sequence and polypyrimidine tracts of repeat-containing pseudoexons in the PTS gene. In the first case, we demonstrate a novel pathway of antisense Alu exonization, resulting from an intronic deletion that removed the poly(T)-tail of antisense AluSq. The deletion brought a favorable branch point sequence within proximity of the pseudoexon 3' splice site and removed an upstream AG dinucleotide required for the 3' splice site repression on normal alleles. New Alu exons can thus arise in the absence of poly(T)-tails that facilitated inclusion of most transposed elements in mRNAs by serving as polypyrimidine tracts, highlighting extraordinary flexibility of Alu repeats in shaping intron-exon structure. In the other case, a PTS pseudoexon was activated by an A>T substitution 9 nt upstream of its 3' splice site in a LINE-2 sequence, providing the first example of a disease-causing exonization of the most ancient interspersed repeat. These observations expand the spectrum of mutational mechanisms that introduce repetitive sequences in mature transcripts and illustrate the importance of intronic mutations in alternative splicing and phenotypic variability of hereditary disorders.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:11 Jan 2010 10:02
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:41
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1059-7794
Additional Information:The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/humu.20969
PubMed ID:19280650
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-26461

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