Research Article| Volume 21, ISSUE 6, P413-419, June 2011

Plastin 3 expression in discordant spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) siblings


      Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by loss or mutations of the survival motor neuron 1 gene (SMN1). Its highly homologous copy, SMN2, is present in all SMA cases and is a phenotypic modifier. There are cases where asymptomatic siblings of typical SMA patients possess a homozygous deletion of SMN1 just like their symptomatic brothers or sisters. Plastin 3 (PLS3) when over expressed in lymphoblasts from females has been suggested to act as a genetic modifier of SMA.
      We studied PLS3 expression in four Spanish SMA families with discordant siblings haploidentical for the SMA locus. We excluded PLS3 as a possible modifier in two of our families with female discordant siblings. In the remaining two, we observed small differences in PLS3 expression between male and female discordant siblings. Indeed, we found that values of PLS3 expression in lymphoblasts and peripheral blood ranged from 12 to 200-fold less than those in fibroblasts. These findings warrant further investigation in motor neurons derived from induced pluripotential stem cells of these patients.


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