Intragenic Duplication: A Novel Mutational Mechanism in Hereditary Pancreatitis

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Objectives:In a hereditary pancreatitis family from Denmark, we identified a novel intragenic duplication of 9 nucleotides in exon-2 of the human cationic trypsinogen (PRSS1) gene (c.63_71dup) which at the amino-acid level resulted in the insertion of 3 amino acids within the activation peptide of cationic trypsinogen (p.K23_I24insIDK). The aim of the present study was to characterize the effect of this unique genetic alteration on the function of human cationic trypsinogen.Methods:Wild-type and mutant cationic trypsinogens were produced recombinantly and purified to homogeneity. Trypsinogen activation was followed by enzymatic assays and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Trypsinogen secretion was measured from transfected HEK 293T cells.Results:Recombinant cationic trypsinogen carrying the p.K23_I24insIDK mutation exhibited greater than 10-fold increased autoactivation. Activation by human cathepsin B also was accelerated by 10-fold. Secretion of the p.K23_I24insIDK mutant from transfected cells was diminished, consistent with intracellular autoactivation.Conclusions:This is the first report of an intragenic duplication within the PRSS1 gene causing hereditary pancreatitis. The accelerated activation of p.K23_I24insIDK by cathepsin B is a unique biochemical property not found in any other pancreatitis-associated trypsinogen mutant. In contrast, the robust autoactivation of the novel mutant confirms the notion that increased autoactivation is a disease-relevant mechanism in hereditary pancreatitis.

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