Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA), the most common autosomal recessively inherited ataxia, is due to a homozygous GAA triplet repeat expansion in the first intron of the FRDA gene in about 96% of patients. Approximately 4% of FRDA patients are compound heterozygotes with a GAA repeat expansion in one allele and a point mutation in the coding region of the second allele. To reinvestigate the mutation spectrum, we searched for mutations including exon deletions in six patients heterozygous for the GAA repeat expansion and found two unknown missense mutations, p.Asn146Lys and p.Leu186Arg, in trans to the expanded FRDA allele. Interestingly, we detected a heterozygous 2776 bp deletion including exon 5a in one of our patients. This deletion removes 50 of the 210 residues of the frataxin. Furthermore, since no FRDA case with two-point mutations is known, we screened eight patients with FRDA phenotype but GAA alleles within the normal range but did not reveal a mutation within the FRDA gene. In addition, DNA polymorphisms have been found in four out of 100 control individuals in this study.
Research Areas and Centers
- Research Area: Medical Genetics