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Open Access Short Report

Two novel missense mutations in the myelin protein zero gene causes Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 2 and Déjérine-Sottas syndrome

Geir J Braathen12*, Jette C Sand2 and Michael B Russell12

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty Division Akershus University Hospital, University of Oslo, 1474 Nordbyhagen, Oslo, Norway

2 Head and Neck Research Group, Research Centre, Akershus University Hospital, 1478 Lørenskog, Oslo, Norway

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BMC Research Notes 2010, 3:99  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-3-99

Published: 12 April 2010

Abstract

Background

The Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) phenotype caused by mutation in the myelin protein zero (MPZ) gene varies considerably, from early onset and severe forms to late onset and milder forms. The mechanism is not well understood. The myelin protein zero (P0) mediates adhesion in the spiral wraps of the Schwann cell's myelin sheath. The crystalline structure of the extracellular domain of the myelin protein zero (P0ex) is known, while the transmembrane and intracellular structure is unknown.

Findings

One novel missense mutation caused a milder late onset CMT type 2, while the second missense mutation caused a severe early onset phenotype compatible with Déjérine-Sottas syndrome.

Conclusions

The phenotypic variation caused by different missense mutations in the MPZ gene is likely caused by different conformational changes of the MPZ protein which affects the functional tetramers. Severe changes of the MPZ protein cause dysfunctional tetramers and predominantly uncompacted myelin, i.e. the severe phenotypes congenital hypomyelinating neuropathy and Déjérine-Sottas syndrome, while milder changes cause the phenotypes CMT type 1 and 2.