The molecular genetic analysis of the expanding pachyonychia congenita case collection


  • Funding sources F.J.D.S. and N.J.W. are supported by a grant from the Pachyonychia Congenita Project (to F.J.D.S.). The Centre for Dermatology and Genetic Medicine at the University of Dundee is supported by a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award (098439/Z/12/Z to W.H.I.M.).
  • Conflicts of interest none declared.



Pachyonychia congenita (PC) is a rare autosomal dominant keratinizing disorder characterized by severe, painful, palmoplantar keratoderma and nail dystrophy, often accompanied by oral leucokeratosis, cysts and follicular keratosis. It is caused by mutations in one of five keratin genes: KRT6A, KRT6B, KRT6C, KRT16 or KRT17.


To identify mutations in 84 new families with a clinical diagnosis of PC, recruited by the International Pachyonychia Congenita Research Registry during the last few years.


Genomic DNA isolated from saliva or peripheral blood leucocytes was amplified using primers specific for the PC-associated keratin genes and polymerase chain reaction products were directly sequenced.


Mutations were identified in 84 families in the PC-associated keratin genes, comprising 46 distinct keratin mutations. Fourteen were previously unreported mutations, bringing the total number of different keratin mutations associated with PC to 105.


By identifying mutations in KRT6A, KRT6B, KRT6C, KRT16 or KRT17, this study has confirmed, at the molecular level, the clinical diagnosis of PC in these families.