OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the rate of somatic NLRP3 mosaicism in an Italian cohort of mutation-negative patients with cryopyrin-associated periodic syndrome (CAPS).
METHODS: The study enrolled 14 patients with a clinical phenotype consistent with CAPS in whom Sanger sequencing of the NLRP3 gene yielded negative results. Patients' DNA were subjected to amplicon-based NLRP3 deep sequencing.
RESULTS: Low-level somatic NLRP3 mosaicism has been detected in 4 patients, 3 affected with chronic infantile neurological cutaneous and articular syndrome and 1 with Muckle-Wells syndrome. Identified nucleotide substitutions encode for 4 different amino acid exchanges, with 2 of them being novel (p.Y563C and p.G564S). In vitro functional studies confirmed the deleterious behavior of the 4 somatic NLRP3 mutations. Among the different neurological manifestations detected, 1 patient displayed mild loss of white matter volume on brain magnetic resonance imaging.
CONCLUSION: The allele frequency of somatic NLRP3 mutations occurs generally under 15%, considered the threshold of detectability using the Sanger method of DNA sequencing. Consequently, routine genetic diagnostic of CAPS should be currently performed by next-generation techniques ensuring high coverage to identify also low-level mosaicism, whose actual frequency is yet unknown and probably underestimated.
- Journal Article