α1-Antitrypsin nullisola di procida: An α1-antitrypsin deficiency allele caused by deletion of all α-1-antitrypsin coding exons
alpha 1-Antitrypsin (alpha 1AT) deficiency, a common hereditary disorder responsible for emphysema in Caucasians of northern European descent, is caused by single base substitutions, deletions, or additions in the seven exons (IA-IC and II-V), of the 12.2-kb alpha 1AT gene located on chromosome 14 at q31-32.3. Of the five known representatives of the "null" group of alpha 1AT-deficiency alleles (alpha 1AT genes incapable of producing alpha 1AT protein detectable in serum) evaluated at the gene level, all result from mutations causing the formation of stop codons in coding exons of the alpha 1AT gene. The present study identifies an alpha 1AT allele (referred to as "Null(isola di procida")) caused by complete deletion of the alpha 1AT coding exons. The Null(isola di procida) allele was identified in an individual with heterozygous inheritance of M(procida) (an allele associated with alpha 1AT deficiency) and a null allele. Although results of karyotypic analysis were normal, quantification of the copies of alpha 1AT genes in this individual revealed that the index case had only half the normal copies of alpha 1AT genes. Cloning and mapping of the Null(isola di procida) gene demonstrated a deletion of a 17-kb fragment that included exons II-V of the alpha 1AT structural gene. As a consequence of the deletion, the normal noncoding exons (IA-IC) were followed by exons II-V of the downstream alpha 1AT-like gene. Sequence analysis of the deletion demonstrated a 7-bp repeat sequence (GAGGACA) both 5' to the deletion and at the 3' end of the deletion, a 4-bp palindromic sequence (ACAG vs. CTGT) bracketing the deletion, and a novel inserted 4-bp sequence (CCTG) at the breakpoint, suggesting that the mechanism of the deletion may have been "slipped mispairing."