Activation of cryptic splice sites in three patients with chronic granulomatous disease.Mol Genet Genomic Med 2019; 7(9):e854MG
Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) is a primary immune deficiency caused by mutations in the genes encoding the structural components of the phagocyte NADPH oxidase. As a result, the patients cannot generate sufficient amounts of reactive oxygen species required for killing pathogenic microorganisms.
We analyzed NADPH oxidase activity and component expression in neutrophils, performed genomic DNA and cDNA analysis, and used mRNA splicing prediction tools to evaluate the impact of mutations.
In two patients with CGD, we had previously found mutations that cause aberrant pre-mRNA splicing. In one patient an exonic mutation in a cryptic donor splice site caused the deletion of the 3' part of exon 6 from the mRNA of CYBB. This patient suffers from X-linked CGD. The second patient, with autosomal CGD, has a mutation in the donor splice site of intron 1 of CYBA that activates a cryptic donor splice site downstream in intron 1, causing the insertion of intronic sequences in the mRNA. The third patient, recently analyzed, also with autosomal CGD, has a mutation in intron 4 of CYBA, 15 bp from the acceptor splice site. This mutation weakens a branch site and activates a cryptic acceptor splice site, causing the insertion of 14 intronic nucleotides into the mRNA.
We found three different mutations, one exonic, one in a donor splice site and one intronic, that all caused missplicing of pre-mRNA. We analyzed these mutations with four different splice prediction programs and found that predictions of splice site strength, splice enhancer and splice silencer protein binding and branch site strength are all essential for correct prediction of pre-mRNA splicing.