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

A novel keratin 5 mutation (K5V186L) in a family with EBS-K: a conservative substitution can lead to development of different disease phenotypes.

Epidermolysis bullosa simplex is a hereditary skin blistering disorder caused by mutations in the KRT5 or KRT14 genes. More than 50 different mutations have been described so far. These, and reports of other keratin gene mutations, have highlighted the existence of mutation "hotspots" in keratin proteins at which sequence changes are most likely to be detrimental to protein function. Pathogenic mutations that occur outside these hotspots are usually associated with less severe disease phenotypes. We describe a novel K5 mutation (V186L) that produces a conservative amino acid change (valine to leucine) at position 18 of the 1A helix. The phenotype of this case is unexpectedly severe for the location of the mutation, which lies outside the consensus helix initiation motif mutation hotspot, and other mutations at this position have been associated in Weber--Cockayne (mild) epidermolysis bullosa simplex only. The mutation was confirmed by mismatch-allele-specific polymerase chain reaction and the entire KRT5 coding region was sequenced, but no other changes were identified. De novo K5/K14 (mutant and wild-type) filament assembly in cultured cells was studied to determine the effect of this mutation on filament polymerization and stability. A computer model of the 1A region of the K5/K14 coiled-coil was generated to visualize the structural impact of this mutation and to compare it with an analogous mutation causing mild disease. The results show a high level of concordance between genetic, cell culture and molecular modeling data, suggesting that even a conservative substitution can cause severe dysfunction in a structural protein, depending on the size and structure of the amino acid involved.[1]


  1. A novel keratin 5 mutation (K5V186L) in a family with EBS-K: a conservative substitution can lead to development of different disease phenotypes. Liovic, M., Stojan, J., Bowden, P.E., Gibbs, D., Vahlquist, A., Lane, E.B., Komel, R. J. Invest. Dermatol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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