Smn1 and smn2 copy numbers in cell lines derived from patients with spinal muscular atrophy as measured by array digital pcr

Deborah L. Stabley, Ashlee W. Harris, Jennifer Holbrook, Nicholas J. Chubbs, Kevin W. Lozo, Thomas O. Crawford, Kathryn J. Swoboda, Vicky L. Funanage, Wenlan Wang, William Mackenzie, Mena Scavina, Katia Sol-Church, Matthew E.R. Butchbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an early-onset motor neuron disease characterized by loss of α-motor neurons and associated muscle atrophy. SMA is caused by deletion or other disabling mutation of survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1). In the human genome, a large duplication of the SMN-containing region gives rise to a second copy of this gene (SMN2) that is distinguishable by a single nucleotide change in exon 7. Within the SMA population, there is substantial variation in SMN2 copy number; in general, those individuals with SMA who have a high SMN2 copy number have a milder disease. Because SMN2 functions as a disease modifier, its accurate copy number determination may have clinical relevance. In this study, we describe the development of an assay to assess SMN1 and SMN2 copy numbers in DNA samples using an array-based digital PCR (dPCR) system. This dPCR assay can accurately and reliably measure the number of SMN1 and SMN2 copies in DNA samples. In a cohort of SMA patient-derived cell lines, the assay confirmed a strong inverse correlation between SMN2 copy number and disease severity. Array dPCR is a practical technique to determine, accurately and reliably, SMN1 and SMN2 copy numbers from SMA samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-257
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Genetics and Genomic Medicine
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2015

Keywords

  • Array digital PCR
  • Copy number
  • Copy number variation
  • SMN1
  • SMN2
  • Spinal muscular atrophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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