Background Hypotrichosis simplex of the scalp (HSS; MIM 146520) is a rare autosomal dominant form of non-syndromic alopecia that affects men and women equally. Up to now, only a small number of families with HSS have been reported. The affected individuals experience a diffuse progressing hair loss from childhood to adulthood that is confined to the scalp. Recently, HSS has been mapped to the short arm of chromosome 6 (6p21.3), allowing mutations in the corneodesmosin gene (CDSN) to be identified as the cause of the disorder. To date, two stop mutations have been found in three unrelated families with HSS of different ethnic origin.
Objectives To describe the first HSS-family with Latin American (Mexican) background comprising 6 generations and to identify a mutation in the CDSN gene.
Patients/Methods The patients were examined by a clinician and blood samples were taken. After DNA extraction, sequencing analysis of the CDSN gene and restriction enzyme analysis with PsuI were performed.
Results By direct sequencing of the two exons of the CDSN gene, a nonsense mutation was identified in the index patient in exon 2, resulting in a premature stop codon (Y239X). The mutation cosegregates perfectly in the family with the disease and was not found in 300 control chromosomes using a restriction enzyme analysis with PsuI.
Conclusions A nonsense mutation was identified in the first family with HSS of Latin American ethnical background. Our data provide molecular genetic evidence for a 3rd stop mutation in exon 2 of the CDSN gene being responsible for HSS. All to date known nonsense mutations responsible 3 for HSS are clustered in a region of 40 amino acids which is in accordance with a dominant negative effect conferred by aggregates of truncated CDSN proteins.