Molecular, ultrastructural and functional characterization of a Spanish family with Hermansky–Pudlak syndrome: role of insC974 in platelet function and clinical relevance


Javier Corral, Centro de Hemodonación, Ronda de Garay s/n, 30003, Murcia, Spain. E-mail:


Summary. Hermansky–Pudlak syndrome (HPS) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder, which is genetically heterogeneous. In humans, mutations associated with this syndrome have been identified that affect four genes, most of them located in the HPS-1 gene. We evaluated the clinical, molecular, platelet ultrastructure and platelet function data obtained from one Spanish HPS patient and his relatives. The proband was compound heterozygous for a de novo nonsense mutation (Arg-131Stop), which has not been described previously, and for a common frameshift mutation (insC974). These two mutations were also identified by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in half the RNA, supporting the premise that they have minor effects on either transcription or RNA stability. The patient had an almost complete absence of platelet-dense granules. Accordingly, his platelets showed a small aggregatory response, reduced CD63 surface expression after platelet activation and minor serotonin uptake. Interestingly, despite the absence of clinical symptoms, two relatives carrying only one HPS-1 mutation (insC974) presented a decreased content of platelet-dense granules and showed significant reductions in platelet aggregation, expression of CD63 after platelet activation and serotonin uptake. Data show that the presence of a single mutation affecting one allele of the HPS-1 gene might have relevance in the organogenesis of platelet-dense granules, affecting platelet function. However, these functional defects were not of a great enough magnitude to have clinical significance and, thus, these subjects were clinically asymptomatic.