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1.  Large genomic rearrangements in the CFTR gene contribute to CBAVD 
BMC Medical Genetics  2007;8:22.
Background
By performing extensive scanning of whole coding and flanking sequences of the CFTR (Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator) gene, we had previously identified point mutations in 167 out of 182 (91.7%) males with isolated congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens (CBAVD). Conventional PCR-based methods of mutation analysis do not detect gross DNA lesions. In this study, we looked for large rearrangements within the whole CFTR locus in the 32 CBAVD patients with only one or no mutation.
Methods
We developed a semi-quantitative fluorescent PCR assay (SQF-PCR), which relies on the comparison of the fluorescent profiles of multiplex PCR fragments obtained from different DNA samples. We confirmed the gross alterations by junction fragment amplification and identified their breakpoints by direct sequencing.
Results
We detected two large genomic heterozygous deletions, one encompassing exon 2 (c.54-5811_c.164+2186del8108ins182) [or CFTRdele2], the other removing exons 22 to 24 (c.3964-3890_c.4443+3143del9454ins5) [or CFTRdele 22_24], in two males carrying a typical CBAVD mutation on the other parental CFTR allele. We present the first bioinformatic tool for exon phasing of the CFTR gene, which can help to rename the exons and the nomenclature of small mutations according to international recommendations and to predict the consequence of large rearrangements on the open reading frame.
Conclusion
Identification of large rearrangements further expands the CFTR mutational spectrum in CBAVD and should now be systematically investigated. We have designed a simple test to specifically detect the presence or absence of the two rearrangements identified in this study.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-8-22
PMCID: PMC1876208  PMID: 17448246
2.  First molecular screening of deafness in the Altai Republic population 
BMC Medical Genetics  2005;6:12.
Background
We studied the molecular basis of NSHL in Republic of Altai (South Siberia, Russia). The Altaians are the indigenous Asian population of the Altai Mountain region considered as a melting-pot and a dispersion center for world-wide human expansions in the past.
Methods
A total of 76 patients of Altaian, Russian or mixed ethnicity and 130 Altaian controls were analyzed by PCR-DHPLC and sequencing in the GJB2 gene. The GJB6 deletion and the common non-syndromic deafness-causing mitochondrial mutations were also tested when appropriate.
Results
8.3% of the Altaian chromosomes were carrying GJB2 mutations versus 46.9% of the Russian chromosomes. The 235delC mutation was predominant among Altaians, whereas the 35delG mutation was most prevalent among Russian patients.
Conclusion
We found an Asian-specific GJB2 diversity among Altaians, and different GJB2 contribution for deafness in the Altaian and Russian patients. The high carrier frequency of 235delC in Altaians (4.6%) is probably defined by gene drift/founder effect in a particular group. The question whether the Altai region could be one of founder sources for the 235delC mutation widespread in Asia is open.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-6-12
PMCID: PMC1079841  PMID: 15790391
3.  Are p.I148T, p.R74W and p.D1270N cystic fibrosis causing mutations ? 
BMC Medical Genetics  2004;5:19.
Background
To contribute further to the classification of three CFTR amino acid changes (p.I148T, p.R74W and p.D1270N) either as CF or CBAVD-causing mutations or as neutral variations.
Methods
The CFTR genes from individuals who carried at least one of these changes were extensively scanned by a well established DGGE assay followed by direct sequencing and familial segregation analysis of mutations and polymorphisms.
Results
Four CF patients (out of 1238) originally identified as carrying the p.I148T mutation in trans with a CF mutation had a second mutation (c.3199del6 or a novel mutation c.3395insA) on the p.I148T allele. We demonstrate here that the deletion c.3199del6 can also be associated with CF without p.I148T. Three CBAVD patients originally identified with the complex allele p.R74W-p.D1270N were also carrying p.V201M on this allele, by contrast with non CF or asymptomatic individuals including the mother of a CF child, who were carrying p.R74W-p.D1270N alone.
Conclusion
These findings question p.I148T or p.R74W-p.D1270N as causing by themselves CF or CBAVD and emphazises the necessity to perform a complete scanning of CFTR genes and to assign the parental alleles when novel missense mutations are identified.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-5-19
PMCID: PMC509248  PMID: 15287992
4.  Molecular epidemiology of DFNB1 deafness in France 
Background
Mutations in the GJB2 gene have been established as a major cause of inherited non syndromic deafness in different populations. A high number of sequence variations have been described in the GJB2 gene and the associated pathogenic effects are not always clearly established. The prevalence of a number of mutations is known to be population specific, and therefore population specific testing should be a prerequisite step when molecular diagnosis is offered. Moreover, population studies are needed to determine the contribution of GJB2 variants to deafness. We present our findings from the molecular diagnostic screening of the GJB2 and GJB6 genes over a three year period, together with a population-based study of GJB2 variants.
Methods and results
Molecular studies were performed using denaturing High Performance Liquid Chromatograghy (DHPLC) and sequencing of the GJB2 gene. Over the last 3 years we have studied 159 families presenting sensorineural hearing loss, including 84 with non syndromic, stable, bilateral deafness. Thirty families were genotyped with causative mutations. In parallel, we have performed a molecular epidemiology study on more than 3000 dried blood spots and established the frequency of the GJB2 variants in our population. Finally, we have compared the prevalence of the variants in the hearing impaired population with the general population.
Conclusion
Although a high heterogeneity of sequence variation was observed in patients and controls, the 35delG mutation remains the most common pathogenic mutation in our population. Genetic counseling is dependent on the knowledge of the pathogenicity of the mutations and remains difficult in a number of cases. By comparing the sequence variations observed in hearing impaired patients with those sequence variants observed in general population, from the same ethnic background, we show that the M34T, V37I and R127H variants can not be responsible for profound or severe deafness.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-5-5
PMCID: PMC385234  PMID: 15070423

Results 1-4 (4)