The molecular genetic basis of C1 inhibitor (C1 INH) deficiency in a patient with type I hereditary angioneurotic edema was studied. This patient was found to have an abnormally short C1 INH mRNA together with a normal message. Restriction fragment length polymorphism of the C1 INH gene was detected by Southern blot analysis of the patient's DNA after digestion with Pst I or Sac I, and hybridization with a full-length C1 INH cDNA. Hybridization of the same blot with three different fragments of the full-length cDNA suggested that exon VII and portions of both flanking introns were deleted in the C1 INH gene. Northern blot analysis of RNA from cultured monocytes, using a probe corresponding to exon VII, also indicated that the abnormal C1 INH mRNA had a deletion of these nucleotides. To confirm the hypothesis that the short C1 INH mRNA contained a deletion, the involved segment of the patient's C1 INH mRNA was amplified using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). PCR amplification yielded two C1 INH DNA fragments of different lengths (380 and 160 bp). Southern blot and sequence analysis of both DNA fragments clearly revealed that the smaller 160-bp DNA was derived from the abnormal message and had a deletion of nucleotides corresponding to exon VII.
T Ariga, T Igarashi, N Ramesh, R Parad, M Cicardi, A E Davis 3rd