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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Human transcription factor SLUG: mutation analysis in patients with neural tube defects and identification of a missense mutation (D119E) in the Slug subfamily-defining region.

Studies in mouse, chicken and Xenopus have shown that Slug is selectively expressed in the dorsal part of the developing neural tube. Ablation and antisense experiments in chicken suggest that Slug may be an important factor during neural tube closure. We therefore investigated the role of Slug as a possible candidate contributing to the aetiology of neural tube defects (NTD) in humans. We characterised the genomic structure of human SLUG including determination of the exon-intron boundaries. The coding sequence of SLUG was screened for mutations in 150 patients with NTD using single strand conformation analysis (SSCA). In one patient, we identified a missense mutation 1548C-->A in exon 2 causing an exchange of a conserved amino acid (D119E) in the Slug subfamily-defining region preceding the first zinc finger. This is the first description of a human mutation in the SLUG gene. In accordance with the findings in model organisms, the SLUG mutation may be causally related to the development of NTD in our patient and could be considered as a predisposing factor.[1]


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