Rett syndrome from quintuple and triple deletions within the MECP2 deletion hotspot region.Rett syndrome results from mutations in the X-linked methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2) gene, which are nearly always lethal in males and lead to regression and reduced life expectancy in females. Herein we report one propositus with five tandem deletions and a second propositus with three tandem deletions within MECP2 exon 4 that encode truncated protein products resulting in classic Rett syndrome. These deletion breakpoints and single deletions in 3 other patients were all found within a 185-bp region along with 64 of 69 other reported deletion breakpoints in the MECP2 gene. Illegitimate recombination resulting in deletion at a substantial proportion of the shared MECP2 sites is enhanced by repeated guanosine ( G) DNA sequences in the antisense direction, consistent with reports at other gene loci that polypurine (multiple guanosine or adenosine (A)) basepairs enhance sequence deletion. Multiple deletions at the same poly G recombination sites confirm the existence of deletion hotspots in this gene region with numerous repeated antisense sites that are enriched 26- to 161-fold. Deletion by illegitimate recombination within a single allele can occur during mitotic or meiotic cell cycles. Although prone to disease-causing deletion, this region is unique in humans and highly conserved among mammals for the last 75 000 000 years to maintain the MECP2 gene's critical function.
- Rett syndrome from quintuple and triple deletions within the MECP2 deletion hotspot region. Lebo, R.V., Ikuta, T., Milunsky, J.M., Milunsky, A. Clin. Genet. (2001) [Pubmed]