Author(s): Krawczak M, Chuzhanova NA, Stenson PD, Johansen BN, Ball EV,
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Abstract No general rules have been proposed to account for the functional consequences of gene regulatory mutations. In a first attempt to establish the nature of such rules, an analysis was performed of the DNA sequence context of 153 different single base-pair substitutions in the regulatory regions of 65 different human genes underlying inherited disease. Use of a recently proposed measure of DNA sequence complexity (taking into account the level of structural repetitiveness of a DNA sequence, rather than simply the oligonucleotide composition) has served to demonstrate that the concomitant change in local DNA sequence complexity surrounding a substituted nucleotide is related to the likelihood of a regulatory mutation coming to clinical attention. Mutations that led to an increase in complexity exhibited higher odds ratios in favour of pathological consequences than mutations that led to a decrease or left complexity unchanged. This relationship, however, was discernible only for pyrimidine-to-purine transversions. Odds ratios for other types of substitution were not found to be significantly associated with local changes in sequence complexity, even though a trend similar to that observed for Y-->R transversions was also apparent for transitions. These findings suggest that the maintenance of a defined level of DNA sequence complexity, or at least the avoidance of an increase in sequence complexity, is a critical prerequisite for the function of gene regulatory regions.
This article was published in Hum Genet
and referenced in Journal of Genetic Syndromes & Gene Therapy