An expansion of an unstable (CTG)(n) trinucleotide repeat in the 3' UTR of a gene encoding a putative serine/threonine protein kinase (DMPK) on human chromosome 19q13.3 has been shown to be specific for the myotonic dystrophy (DM) disease phenotype. In addition, a single haplotype composed of nine alleles within and flanking DMPK over a physical distance of 30 kb has been shown to be in complete linkage disequilibrium with DM. This has led to two hypotheses: (1) predisposition for (CTG)(n) instability results from a founder effect that occurred only once or a few times in human evolution; and (2) elements within the disease haplotype may predispose the (CTG)(n) repeat to instability. A detailed haplotype analysis of the DM region was conducted on a Nigerian (Yoruba) DM family, the only indigenous sub-Saharan DM case reported to date. Each affected member of this family had an expanded (CTG)(n) repeat in one of his or her DMPK alleles. However, unlike all other DM populations studied thus far, disassociation of the (CTG)(n) repeat expansion from other alleles of the putative predisposing haplotype was found. We conclude that the expanded (CTG)(n) repeat in this family is the result of an independent mutational event. Consequently, the origin of DM is unlikely to be a single mutational event, and the hypothesis that a single ancestral haplotype predisposes to repeat expansion is not compelling.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||American Journal of Human Genetics|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1995|
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