DNA deletion and duplication were determined as the major mutation underlying Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD).
Applying multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA), we have analyzed 179 unrelated DMD/BMD subjects from northern China.
Seventy-three percent of the subjects were found having a deletion (66.25%) or duplication (6.25%). Exons 51–52 were detected as the most common fragment deleted in single-exon deletion, and the region of exons 45–50 was the most common exons deleted in multi-exon deletions. About 90% of DMD/BMD cases carry a small size deletion that involves 10 exons or less, 26.67% of which carry a single-exon deletion. Most of the smaller deletions resulted in an out-of-frame mutation. The most common exons deleted were determined to be between exon 48 and exon 52, with exon 50 was the model allele. Verifying single-exon deletion, one sample with a deletion of exon 53 that was initially observed from MLPA showed that there was a single base deletion that abolished the ligation site in MLPA. Confirmation of single-exon deletion is recommended to exclude single base deletion or mutation at the MLPA ligation site.
The frequency of deletion and duplication in northern China is similar to global ethnic populations.