• IFAP syndrome;
  • intronic splicing enhancer;
  • MBTPS2;
  • minigene assay

Abstract:  Ichthyosis follicularis, alopecia and photophobia (IFAP) syndrome is an X-linked genodermatosis with congenital atrichia being the most prominent feature. Recently, we have shown that functional deficiency of MBTPS2 (membrane-bound transcription factor protease site 2) – a zinc metalloprotease essential for cholesterol homeostasis and endoplasmic reticulum stress response – causes the disease. Here, we present results obtained by analysing two intronic MBTPS2 mutations, c.671-9T>G and c.225-6T>A, using in silico and cell-based splicing assays. Accordingly, the c.225-6T>A transversion generated a new splice acceptor site, which caused extension of exon 3 by four bases and subsequently introduced a premature stop codon. Both, minigene experiments and RT-PCR analysis with patient-derived mRNA, demonstrated that the c.671-9T>G mutation resulted in skipping of exon 6, most likely because of disruption of the polypyrimidin tract or a putative intronic splicing enhancer (ISE). Our combined biocomputational and experimental analysis strongly suggested that both intronic alterations are disease-causing mutations.