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Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) is an autosomal dominant condition predisposing to multiple adenomatous polyps of the colon. FAP patients frequently carry heterozygous mutations of the APC tumour suppressor gene. Affected individuals from a cohort of FAP families (n=22), where no germ-line APC mutation was detected by direct sequencing, were analysed by Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification (MLPA). MLPA identified a previously unreported APC mutation involving duplication of exon 4. Subsequent analysis of cDNA from affected family members revealed expression of mutant mRNA species containing two copies of exon 4, resulting in a frameshift and premature stop codon. Bioinformatic analysis of the relevant APC genomic segment predicted a role for homologous recombination possibly involving Alu repeats in the generation of this genotype. Our results highlight the importance of MLPA as an adjunct to exon-by-exon sequencing in identifying infrequent mutational events in cancer predisposing genes.

Original publication




Journal article


Fam Cancer

Publication Date





205 - 208


Adenomatous Polyposis Coli, Adult, Amino Acid Sequence, Base Sequence, Cytoskeletal Proteins, Exons, Gene Duplication, Genes, APC, Germ-Line Mutation, Humans, Molecular Sequence Data