Eur J Hum Genet 2018 02 18;26(2):287-292. Epub 2017 Dec 18.
Service de Génétique, Centre de Référence Anomalies du Développement de l'Ouest, CHU Poitiers, France.
CHARGE syndrome is a rare genetic disorder mainly due to de novo and private truncating mutations of CHD7 gene. Here we report an intriguing hot spot of intronic mutations (c.5405-7G > A, c.5405-13G > A, c.5405-17G > A and c.5405-18C > A) located in CHD7 IVS25. Combining computational in silico analysis, experimental branch-point determination and in vitro minigene assays, our study explains this mutation hot spot by a particular genomic context, including the weakness of the IVS25 natural acceptor-site and an unconventional lariat sequence localized outside the common 40 bp upstream the acceptor splice site. For each of the mutations reported here, bioinformatic tools indicated a newly created 3' splice site, of which the existence was confirmed using pSpliceExpress, an easy-to-use and reliable splicing reporter tool. Our study emphasizes the idea that combining these two complementary approaches could increase the efficiency of routine molecular diagnosis.