Autosomal-dominant hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is a genetically heterogeneous disease caused by mutations in at least two different loci. We screened for mutations in four Italian families where segregation studies showed clear evidence of linkage to the endoglin (ENG) locus. In addition, one sporadic case and three patients with pulmonary arteriovenous malformations, belonging to small nuclear families unsuitable for linkage analysis, were included in the screening. The proband from each family was investigated using single-strand conformation polymorphism and heteroduplex analysis; potential variants were sequenced. Four novel and one previously reported mutation were detected, as well as three new polymorphisms. The novel mutations included deletions in exon 1 (patient 581/02), exon 5 (patient 780/01) and exon 7 (patient 700/01), and a CT229 substitution in exon 3 (patient 462/02). When analysing patient 700/01 and his affected daughter, we encountered a mutant ENG allele with two mutations a deletion in exon 7 and a substitution in exon 12 which converts isoleucine 575 into threonine, in a non-conserved region. Both mutations were absent in the two healthy sons of the patient, while the polymorphic variant in exon 12 was present in his healthy father. These results and haplotype-segregation studies suggest that a de novo deletion had occurred in the gamete of paternal origin. For the first time the parental germline in which a de novo HHT mutation occurred has been identified.
- germline mutation
- hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia