Kindler Syndrome: A New Mutation and New Diagnostic Possibilities

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Abstract

Background

Kindler syndrome (KS) is a rare genetic disorder that is characterized by blistering in infancy, followed by the onset of poikiloderma and photosensitivity in childhood. The recently elucidated molecular pathogenesis involves mutations in KIND1, a gene encoding the protein kindlin-1, which is involved in the attachment of the actin cytoskeleton to the extracellular matrix in basal keratinocytes.

Observations

We describe a child with the neonatal diagnosis of epidermolysis bullosa simplex who developed poikiloderma and skin fragility at 6 years of age. His skin showed diminished staining with anti–kindlin-1 antibody, and genetic analysis revealed that he was a compound heterozygote with a previously unreported mutation in KIND1. Ultrastructural clues to the diagnosis of KS were present in a biopsy specimen that was obtained when the patient was 10 months old, before he developed poikiloderma and photosensitivity.

Conclusions

In this case, a combination of a known mutation (R271X) and a newly described mutation (1755delT) in the KIND1 gene produced loss of function in kindlin-1, leading to the clinical features of KS. Ultrastructural findings characteristic of KS were evident years before the onset of poikiloderma and sun sensitivity. In infancy, electron microscopy can enable early, accurate diagnosis of KS.

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