Molecular investigations of the CMT4D gene N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1 (NDRG1)

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    [Truncated abstract] Hereditary Motor and Sensory Neuropathy Lom (HMSNL) is a severe autosomal recessive peripheral neuropathy, the most common form of demyelinating Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease in the Roma (Gypsy) population. The mutated gene, N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1 (NDRG1) on chromosome 8q24, is widely expressed and has been implicated in a wide range of processes and pathways. In this study we have aimed to assess the overall contribution of this gene to the pathogenesis of peripheral neuropathies, in cases where the most common causes of CMT disease havebeen excluded, as well as to gain clues about its function through the identification of its interactions with other proteins. Sequence analysis of NDRG1 in 104 patients with CMT disease and of diverse ethnicity identified one novel disease-causing mutation, IVS8-1G>A (g.2290787G>A), which affects the splice-acceptor site of IVS8 and results in the skipping of exon 9 . . . The results suggest a defect in Schwann cell lipid trafficking as a major pathogenetic mechanism in CMT4D. At the same time, database searches showed that the chromosomal location of NDRG1 coincides with a reported High-Density Lipoprotein-Cholesterol Quantitive Trait Locus (HDL-CQTL) in humans and in mice. A putative role of NDRG1 in the general mechanisms of HDL-mediated cholesterol transport was supported by biochemical studies of blood lipids, which revealed an association between the Gypsy founder mutation, R148X, and decreased HDL-C levels. These findings suggest that while peripheral neuropathy is the drastic result of NDRG1 deficiency, the primary role of the protein may be related to general mechanisms of lipid transport⁄metabolism.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2006


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