Yang YM, Yan K, Liu B, et al. Comprehensive genetic diagnosis of patients with Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy (DMD/BMD) and pathogenicity analysis of splice site variants in the DMD gene. Journal of Zhejiang University. Science. B 2019;20:753-765
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD) are caused by mutations in the DMD gene. The aim of this study is to identify pathogenic DMD variants in probands and reduce the risk of recurrence of the disease in affected families. Variations in 100 unrelated DMD/BMD patients were detected by multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) and next-generation sequencing (NGS). Pathogenic variants in DMD were successfully identified in all cases, and 11 of them were novel. The most common mutations were intragenic deletions (69%), with two hotspots located in the 5′ end (exons 2-19) and the central of the DMD gene (exons 45-55), while point mutations were observed in 22% patients. Further, c.1149+1G>A and c.1150-2A>G were confirmed by hybrid minigene splicing assay (HMSA). This two splice site mutations would lead to two aberrant DMD isoforms which give rise to severely truncated protein. Therefore, the clinical use of MLPA, NGS, and HMSA is an effective strategy to identify variants. Importantly, eight embryos were terminated pregnancies according to prenatal diagnosis and a healthy boy was successfully delivered by preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). Early and accurate genetic diagnosis is essential for prenatal diagnosis/PGD to reduce the risk of recurrence of DMD in affected families.