Parental age effects, but no evidence for an intrauterine effect in the transmission of myotonic dystrophy type 1

Morales, F., Vásquez, M., Cuenca, P., Campos, D., Santamaría, C., del Valle, G., Brian, R., Sittenfeld, M. and Monckton, D. G. (2015) Parental age effects, but no evidence for an intrauterine effect in the transmission of myotonic dystrophy type 1. European Journal of Human Genetics, 23(5), pp. 646-653. (doi:10.1038/ejhg.2014.138) (PMID:25052313)

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Abstract

Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is caused by the expansion of an unstable CTG repeat (g.17294_17296(45_1000)) with more repeats associated with increased disease severity and reduced age at onset. Expanded disease-associated alleles are highly unstable in both the germline and soma. Germline instability is expansion biased, providing a molecular explanation for anticipation. Somatic instability is expansion biased, size- and age-dependent, features that have compromised genotype–phenotype correlations and intergenerational studies. We corrected these confounding factors by estimating the progenitor allele length in 54 father–offspring and 52 mother–offspring pairs in Costa Rican DM1 families. Not surprisingly, we found major parental allele length effects on the size of the allele transmitted, the magnitude of the intergenerational length change, the age at onset in the next generation and the degree of anticipation in both male and female transmissions. We also detected, for the first time, an age-of-parent effect for both male and female transmission. Interestingly, we found no evidence for an intrauterine effect in the transmission of congenital DM1, suggesting previous reports may have been an artefact of age-dependent somatic instability and sampling bias. These data provide new insights into the germline dynamics of the CTG repeat and opportunities for providing additional advice and more accurate risk assessments to prospective parents in DM1 families.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Monckton, Professor Darren
Authors: Morales, F., Vásquez, M., Cuenca, P., Campos, D., Santamaría, C., del Valle, G., Brian, R., Sittenfeld, M., and Monckton, D. G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology
Journal Name:European Journal of Human Genetics
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:1018-4813
ISSN (Online):1476-5438

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