Abnormal mRNA splicing resulting from consensus sequence splicing mutations of ATP7B

G. Loudianos, M. Lovicu, V. Dessi, M. Tzetis, E. Kanavakis, L. Zancan, L. Zelante, C. Galvèz-Galvèz, A. Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


More than 200 Wilson disease (WD) disease-causing mutations have been defined to date. Missense mutations are largely prevalent while splice-site mutations are limited in number. Most reside in the splice donor or acceptor sites and only a minority are detected in splicing consensus sequences. Furthermore, only a few splicing mutations have been studied at the RNA level to date. In this study, using the RT-PCR method we performed the molecular characterization of four consensus splice-site mutations identified by DNA analysis in patients with WD. One of them, previously described 1707 + 3insT, occurred at position 3 in the donor splice site of intron 4, while the other three, 2122-8T>G, 2866-6T>G, and 3061-12T>A, are novel and occurred in the acceptor splice sites of introns 7, 12, and 13, respectively. Analysis revealed a prevalently abnormal splicing in the samples carrying the mutations compared to the normal controls. Comparison of RNA splicing with normal controls in liver and lymphocytes further suggests that abnormal splicing of the WD gene is also present and differentially regulated in normal tissues. The results produced in this study strongly suggest that DNA mutations residing in the consensus sequence of WD gene splice sites result in the WD phenotype by interfering with the production of the normal WD protein. Further studies are necessary to better quantify the amount of different transcripts produced by these mutations, and establish their correlation with the disease phenotype.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-266
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Mutation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Alternative splicing
  • ATP7B
  • Molecular analysis
  • WD
  • Wilson disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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