X linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMTX) is a hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy caused by mutations in the connexin 32 gene Cx32). Using the SSCP technique and direct sequencing of PCR amplified genomic DNA fragments of the Cx32 gene from a Moroccan patient and her relatives, we identified the first de novo mutation of the Cx32 gene, consisting of a deletion of a G residue at position 499 in the Cx32 open reading frame. This previously unreported mutation produces a frameshift at position 147 in the protein and introduces a premature stop codon (TAG) at nucleotide 643, which results in the production of a truncated Cx32 molecule. This mutation illustrates the risk of an erroneous diagnosis of autosomal recessive CMT, especially in populations where consanguineous unions are frequent, and its consequences for genetic counselling, which can be avoided by molecular analysis.
(J Med Genet 1998;35:251-252)