Mutations in KRIT1 in familial cerebral cavernous malformations

Jun Zhang, Richard E. Clatterbuck, Daniele Rigamonti, Harry C. Dietz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: The recognition of six unrelated Hispanic-American families in which cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM) segregated as an autosomal dominant trait established a genetic basis for this disease. Linkage analysis subsequently identified locus heterogeneity with disease genes for CCM at chromosomal regions 7q, 7p, and 3q. Recently, mutations in KRIT1, a gene on 7q at the CCM1 locus, were identified in French and Hispanic-American families with CCM. This study confirms the identity the KRIT1 founder mutation in Hispanic-Americans and reports a novel KRIT1 mutation in a Caucasion family. METHODS: Oligonucleotide primers were designed to allow amplification of genomic DNA sequences from four Hispanic-American families and five non-Hispanic families for all 12 exons of the KRIT1 gene using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The amplified DNA was then screened using single strand conformation polymorphism analysis (SSCP) and sequencing. The expression pattern of KRIT1 was analyzed by Northern blotting. RESULTS: Analysis of the KRIT1 gene revealed a point mutation in exon 6 that predicts the substitution of a premature termination codon for glutamine at codon 248 in all four Hispanic-American families, confirming previous findings. SSCP analysis and sequencing revealed an 11 base pair duplication in exon 7 leading to a premature termination codon in one Caucasion family. Northern analysis demonstrated widespread expression of this gene, however, the highest level of expression was in the brain. CONCLUSION: The common KRIT1 mutation causing the majority of CCM in Hispanic-Americans has been identified and independently confirmed, allowing efficient presymptomatic molecular diagnosis. In keeping with prior results, both newly identified mutations create a premature termination codon and are predicted to initiate degradation of the mutant mRNA through the nonsense-mediated mRNA decay pathway. These data strongly suggest loss of function as the relevant patho- genetic mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1272-1279
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2000


  • Cerebral cavernous malformation
  • Genetic mutation
  • KRIT1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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