The rate of germline mutations and large deletions of SMAD4 and BMPR1A in juvenile polyposis


James R Howe, MD, Department of Surgery, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, 200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, IA 52242-1086, USA.
Tel.: (319) 356-1727;
fax: (319) 353-8940;


Juvenile polyposis (JPS) is an autosomal dominant syndrome that predisposes individuals to develop gastrointestinal polyps and cancer. Germline point mutations in SMAD4 and BMPR1A have been identified as causing JPS in approximately 40–60% of patients, but few studies have looked at the rate of large deletions. In this study, we determined the overall prevalence of genetic changes of SMAD4 and BMPR1A by sequencing and by screening for larger deletions. DNA was extracted from 102 JPS probands, and each exon and intron–exon boundary of SMAD4 and BMPR1A were sequenced. Coding and non-coding exons of SMAD4 and BMPR1A were screened for deletions with multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA). By sequencing, 20 probands had point mutations of SMAD4 and 22 of BMPR1A. By MLPA, one proband had deletion of most of SMAD4, one of both BMPR1A and PTEN, one of the 5′ end of BMPR1A, and another of the 5′ end of SMAD4. The overall prevalence of SMAD4 and BMPR1A point mutations and deletions in JPS was 45% in the largest series of patients to date. Large deletions are less frequent in JPS patients, but represent other heritable causes of JPS, which should be screened for in pre-symptomatic genetic testing.