CCM3/SERPINI1 bidirectional promoter variants in patients with cerebral cavernous malformations: A molecular and functional study

Concetta Scimone, Placido Bramanti, Alessia Ruggeri, Luigi Donato, Concetta Alafaci, Concetta Crisafulli, Massimo Mucciardi, Carmela Rinaldi, Antonina Sidoti, Rosalia D'Angelo

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Background: Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) are vascular anomalies of the nervous system mostly located in the brain presenting sporadically or familial. Causes of familial forms are mutations in CCM1 (Krit1), CCM2 (MGC4607) and CCM3 (PDCD10) genes. Sporadic forms with no affected relative most often have only one lesion and no germ line mutations. However, a number of sporadic cases with multiple lesions have been reported and are indeed genetic cases with a de novo mutation or a mutation inherited from an asymptomatic parent. Methods: Here, we performed an analysis of regulatory region of CCM genes in 60 sporadic patients, negative for mutations in coding region and intron-exon boundaries and large deletion/duplications in CCM genes by direct sequencing and MLPA. Among 5 variants identified in 851-bp region shared by CCM3 and SERPINI1 genes and acting as asymmetric bidirectional promoter, two polymorphisms c.-639 T > C/rs9853967 and c.-591 T > C/rs11714980 were selected. A case-control study was performed to analyze their possible relationships with sporadic CCMs. Promoter haplotypes activities on CCM3/SERPINI1 genes expression were tested by dual-luciferase assay. Results: No variants were identified in CCM1 and CCM2 regulatory regions. In CCM3/SERPINI1 asymmetric bidirectional promoter 5 variants, 2 of them unknown and 3 corresponding to polymorphisms c.-639 T > C/rs9853967, c.-591 T > C/rs11714980 and c.-359G > A/rs9834676 were detected. While rs9853967 and rs11714980 polymorphisms fall in a critical regulatory fragment outside the minimal promoter in intergenic region, other variants had no effects on transcription factor binding according to RegRNA tool. Case-control study performed on 60 patients and 350 healthy controls showed frequencies of the mutated alleles significantly higher in the control group than in patients. Furthermore, the functional assay showed a significant reduction of CCM3 expression for C-C haplotype even more than for T-C and C-T haplotypes. In SERPINI1 direction, the reduction was not statistically significant. Conclusions: Our data indicated that rs9853967 and rs11714980 polymorphisms could be associated with a protective role in CCM disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number74
JournalBMC Medical Genetics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 13 2016



  • Association study
  • Bidirectional promoter
  • CCM genes
  • Dual luciferase-assay
  • Polymorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

Cite this

Scimone, C., Bramanti, P., Ruggeri, A., Donato, L., Alafaci, C., Crisafulli, C., Mucciardi, M., Rinaldi, C., Sidoti, A., & D'Angelo, R. (2016). CCM3/SERPINI1 bidirectional promoter variants in patients with cerebral cavernous malformations: A molecular and functional study. BMC Medical Genetics, 17(1), [74].