Original Article

Novel mutations of TCIRG1 cause a malignant and mild phenotype of autosomal recessive osteopetrosis (ARO) in four Chinese families

Authors: Xiao-ya ZHANG, Jin-wei HE, Wen-zhen FU, Chun WANG, Zhen-lin ZHANG
DOI: 10.1038/aps.2017.108


Human autosomal recessive osteopetrosis (ARO), also known as infantile malignant osteopetrosis, is a rare genetic bone disorder that often causes death. Mutations in T-cell immune regulator 1 (TCIRG1) are a frequent cause of human ARO. Six additional genes (TNFSF11, TNFRSF11A, CLCN7, OSTM1, SNX10, PLEKHM1) were also found to be associated with human ARO. In order to expand the mutation spectrum and clinical diversity for a better understanding of the ARO phenotype and to further investigate the clinical characteristics of benign subjects with ARO, we here report five individuals with ARO from four unrelated Chinese families. X-ray examination was conducted and bone turnover markers were assayed. The gene of T-cell immune regulator 1 (TCIRG1) was screened and analyzed. Monocyte-induced osteoclasts were prepared and their resorption ability was studied in vitro. We identified five novel mutations (c.66delC, c.1020+1_1020+5dup, c.2181C>A, c.2236+6T>G, c.692delA) in these patients. Four patients displayed a malignant phenotype, three of them died, and one who received bone marrow transplantation survived. The remaining one, a 24-yearold male from a consanguineous family, was diagnosed based on radiological findings but presented no neurological or hematological defects. He was homozygous for c.2236+6T>G in intron 18; this mutation influenced the splicing process. An in vitro functional study of this novel splicing defect showed no resorption pits on dentine slices. TCIRG1-dependent osteopetrosis with a mild clinical course was observed for the first time in Chinese population. The present findings add to the wide range of phenotypes of Chinese patients with TCIRG1-dependent ARO and enrich the database of TCIRG1 mutations.
Keywords: autosomal recessive osteopetrosis; TCIRG1; malignant; mild phenotype; Chinese family

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