Mutations in spastin cause the most common form of pure autosomal dominant hereditary spastic paraparesis (SPG4). Here, we report two Italian families affected with SPG4-linked HSP harboring two novel spastin mutations. SSCP/sequencing analysis of the spastin gene showed a single base pair deletion causing a frame-shift in one family (1442deIT) and a missense mutation (1726T>C) resulting in a leucine to proline amino-acid change (L534P) in the other family. Total RNA from the mutant and the wild-type spastin allele in muscle biopsies from patients from the two affected families was quantitated. RNA expression was almost absent from the spastin allele harboring the single base pair deletion, while it was nearly normal for the spastin allele harboring the missense mutation. These data suggest that varying spastin RNA levels are found in out-of-frame and missense spastin mutations and imply different mechanisms involved in the molecular pathology of SPG4 linked HSP.
- Spastic paraparesis
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