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de Garibay G.R.,Institute Investigacion Sanitaria San Carlos IdISSC | Acedo A.,Institute Biologia y Genetica Molecular CSIC UVa | Garcia-Casado Z.,Fundacion Instituto Valenciano Of Oncologia | Gutierrez-Enriquez S.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | And 11 more authors.
Human Mutation

Rare sequence variants in "high-risk" disease genes, often referred as unclassified variants (UVs), pose a serious challenge to genetic testing. However, UVs resulting in splicing alterations can be readily assessed by in vitro assays. Unfortunately, analytical and clinical interpretation of these assays is often challenging. Here, we explore this issue by conducting splicing assays in 31 BRCA2 genetic variants. All variants were assessed by RT-PCR followed by capillary electrophoresis and direct sequencing. If assays did not produce clear-cut outputs (Class-2 or Class-5 according to analytical International Agency for Research on Cancer guidelines), we performed qPCR and/or minigene assays. The latter were performed with a new splicing vector (pSAD) developed by authors of the present manuscript (patent #P201231427 CSIC). We have identified three clinically relevant Class-5 variants (c.682-2A>G, c.7617+1G>A, and c.8954-5A>G), and 27 analytical Class-2 variants (not inducing splicing alterations). In addition, we demonstrate that rs9534262 (c.7806-14T>C) is a BRCA2 splicing quantitative trait locus. Splicing analyses are widely used in the clinical setting to address the significance of rare genetic variants. However, interpretation of results is often challenging. Here we show that incorporating capillary electrophoresis (EP) and direct sequencing to the analysis of RT-PCR splicing assays often produces clear-cut analytical outputs. Indeed, we have produced clear-cut outputs in 29 out of 31 BRCA2 variants investigated, including the identified of clinically relevant splicing aberrations, and one splicing quantitative trait locus (sQTL). © 2013 WILEY PERIODICALS, INC. Source

Lara B.,Hospital Universitario Arnau Of Vilanova | Martinez M.T.,Hospital Universitario Doce Of Octubre | Blanco I.,Board of Directors of the Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency Spanish Registry | Hernandez-Moro C.,Institute Biologia y Genetica Molecular CSIC UVa | And 8 more authors.
Respiratory Research

Background: Severe Alpha-1 Antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency is a hereditary condition caused by mutations in the SERPINA1 gene, which predisposes to lung emphysema and liver disease. It is usually related to PI*Z alleles, and less frequent to rare and null (QO) alleles. Null-AAT alleles represent the end of a continuum of variants associated with profound AAT deficiency and extremely increased risk of emphysema.Methods: A family with severe AAT deficiency was analyzed to achieve genetic diagnosis. The complete exons and introns of the SERPINA1 gene were sequenced and transcriptional analysis by RT-PCR was performed to characterize the effect of splicing variants found in the patients. In addition, a minigene MGserpa1_ex1b-1c was cloned into the pSAD vector to in vitro investigate the independent impact of variants on splicing process.Results: We report a new identified null allele (PI*QOMadrid) in two adult siblings with practically no detectable serum AAT. The PI*QOMadrid allele consist of a duplication of the thymine (T) in position +2 of the donor splice site of exon 1C (+2dupT). In these two subjects, PI*QOMadrid occurred in compound heterozygote combination with the previously described variant PI*QOPorto. Both QOMadrid and QOPorto variants are located very close together in a regulatory region of the SERPINA1 gene. Analysis of transcripts revealed that QOMadrid variant prevented the expression of transcripts from exon 1C, and then normally spliced RNA products are not expected in the liver of these patients. In addition, aberrant splicing patterns of both variants were clearly distinguished and quantified by functional in vitro assays lending further support to their pathogenicity.Conclusion: Finding pathogenic mutations in non-coding regions of the SERPINA1 highlight the importance that regulatory regions might have in the disease. Regulatory regions should be seriously considered in discordant cases with severe AAT deficiency where no coding mutations were found. © 2014 Lara et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Molina-Guijarro J.M.,PharmaMar S.A | Macias A.,Institute Investigaciones Biomedicas Alberto Sols CSIC UAM | Garcia C.,CSIC - Institute of Physical Chemistry "Rocasolano" | Munoz E.,Institute Biologia y Genetica Molecular CSIC UVa | And 10 more authors.

Irvalec is a marine-derived antitumor agent currently undergoing phase II clinical trials. In vitro, Irvalec induces a rapid loss of membrane integrity in tumor cells, accompanied of a significant Ca2+ influx, perturbations of membrane conductivity, severe swelling and the formation of giant membranous vesicles. All these effects are not observed in Irvalec-resistant cells, or are significantly delayed by pretreating the cells with Zn2+. Using fluorescent derivatives of Irvalec it was demonstrated that the compound rapidly interacts with the plasma membrane of tumor cells promoting lipid bilayer restructuration. Also, FRET experiments demonstrated that Irvalec molecules localize in the cell membrane close enough to each other as to suggest that the compound could self-organize, forming supramolecular structures that likely trigger cell death by necrosis through the disruption of membrane integrity. © 2011 Molina-Guijarro et al. Source

Acedo A.,Institute Biologia y Genetica Molecular CSIC UVa | Hernandez-Moro C.,Institute Biologia y Genetica Molecular CSIC UVa | Curiel-Garcia A.,Institute Biologia y Genetica Molecular CSIC UVa | Diez-Gomez B.,Institute Biologia y Genetica Molecular CSIC UVa | Velasco E.A.,Institute Biologia y Genetica Molecular CSIC UVa
Human Mutation

Numerous pathogenic DNA variants impair the splicing mechanism in human genetic diseases. Minigenes are optimal approaches to test variants under the splicing viewpoint without the need of patient samples. We aimed to design a robust minigene construct of the breast cancer gene BRCA2 in order to investigate the impact of variants on splicing. BRCA2 exons 19-27 (MGBR2_ex19-27) were cloned in the new vector pSAD. It produced a large transcript of the expected size (2,174 nucleotides) and exon structure (V1-ex19-27-V2). Splicing assays showed that 18 (17 splice-site and 1 silencer variants) out of 40 candidate DNA variants induced aberrant patterns. Twenty-four anomalous transcripts were accurately detected by fluorescent-RT-PCR that were generated by exon-skipping, alternative site usage, and intron-retention events. Fourteen variants induced major anomalies and were predicted to disrupt protein function so they could be classified as pathogenic. Furthermore, minigene mimicked previously reported patient RNA outcomes of seven variants supporting the reproducibility of minigene assays. Therefore, a relevant fraction of variants are involved in breast cancer through splicing alterations. MGBR2_ex19-27 is the largest reported BRCA2 minigene and constitutes a valuable tool for the functional and clinical classification of sequence variations. © 2014 WILEY PERIODICALS, INC. Source

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