We performed a complex analysis of the neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) gene in Slovakia based on direct cDNA sequencing supplemented by multiple ligation dependent probe amplification (MLPA) analysis. All 108 patients had café-au-lait spots, 85% had axilary and/or inguinal freckling, 61% neurofibromas, 36% Lisch nodules of the iris and 31% optic pathway glioma, 5% suffered from typical skeletal disorders, and 51% of patients had family members with NF1.
In 78 of the 86 (90.7%) index patients our analysis revealed the presence of NF1 mutations, 68 of which were small changes (87.2%), including 39 (50%) novel. Among the identified mutations the most prevalent were small deletions and insertions causing frameshift (42.3%), followed by nonsense (14.1%), missense (12.8%), and typical splicing (11.5%) mutations. Type 1 NF1 deletions and intragenic deletions/duplication were identified in five cases each (6.4%). Interestingly, in five other cases nontypical splicing variants were found, whose real effect on NF1 transcript would have remained undetected if using a DNA-based method alone, thus underlying the advantage of using the cDNA-based sequencing. We show that Slovak NF1 patients have a similar repertoire of NF1 germline mutations compared to other populations, with some prevalence of small deletions/insertions and a decreased proportion of nonsense mutations.