Abstract

Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is caused by a CTG trinucleotide repeat expansion on chromosome 19q13.3. While DM1 premutation (36-50 repeats) and protomutation (51-80 repeats) allele carriers are mostly asymptomatic, offspring is at risk of inheriting expanded, symptom-associated, (CTG)n repeats of n > 80. In this study we aimed to evaluate the intergenerational instability of DM1 pre- and protomutation alleles, focussing on the influence of parental gender. One hundred and forty-six parent-child pairs (34 parental premutations, 112 protomutations) were retrospectively selected from the DM1 patient cohort of the Maastricht University Medical Center+. CTG repeat size of parents and children was determined by (triplet-primed) PCR followed by fragment length analysis and Southern blot analysis. Fifty-eight out of eighty-one (71.6%) paternal transmissions led to a (CTG)n repeat of n > 80 in offspring, compared with 15 out of 65 (23.1%) maternal transmissions (p <0.001). Repeat length instability occurred for paternal (CTG)n repeats of n >= 45, while maternal instability did not occur until (CTG)n repeats reached a length of n >= 71. Transmission of premutations caused (CTG)n repeats of n > 80 in offspring only when paternally transmitted (two cases), while protomutations caused (CTG)n repeats of n > 80 in offspring in 71 cases, of which 56 (78.9%) were paternally transmitted. In conclusion, our data show that paternally transmitted pre- and protomutations were more unstable than maternally transmitted pre- and protomutations. For genetic counseling, this implies that males with a small DMPK mutation have a higher risk of symptomatic offspring compared with females. Consequently, we suggest addressing sex-dependent factors in genetic counseling of small-sized CTG repeat carriers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)956-962
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Human Genetics
Volume28
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

Keywords

  • CTG REPEAT
  • PATERNAL TRANSMISSION
  • HUNTINGTON-DISEASE
  • CAG REPEAT
  • PRACTICE GUIDELINES
  • EXPANSION
  • ORIGIN
  • SIZE
  • HETEROGENEITY
  • ANTICIPATION

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