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Oncogenic point mutations in exon 20 of the RB1 gene in families showing incomplete penetrance and mild expression of the retinoblastoma phenotype.

Onadim Z., Hogg A., Baird P.N., Cowell J.K.

The retinoblastoma-predisposition gene, RB1, segregates as an autosomal dominant trait with high (90%) penetrance. Certain families, however, show an unusual low-penetrance phenotype with many individuals being unaffected, unilaterally affected, or with evidence of spontaneously regressed tumors. We have used single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis and PCR sequencing to study two such families. Mutations were found in exon 20 of RB1 in both cases. In one family a C----T transition in codon 661 converts an arginine (CGG) to a tryptophan (TGG) codon. In this family, incomplete penetrance and mild phenotypic expression were observed in virtually all patients, possibly indicating that single amino acid changes may modify protein structure/function such that tumorigenesis is not inevitable. In the second family the mutation in codon 675 is a G----T transversion that converts a glutamine (GAA) to a stop (TAA) codon. However, this mutation also occurs near a potential cryptic splice acceptor site, raising the possibility of alternative splicing resulting in a less severely disrupted protein.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 89:6177-6181(1992) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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