A Chinese research team, led by Anhui Medical University and BGI, has found the strong genetic evidences of mevalonate kinase gene (MVK) mutations link to disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis (DSAP). It is a major step toward discovering the genetic pathogenesisof DSAP, and sheds an eye-opening insight into its further molecular diagnosis and treatment. The latest study was published online in Nature Genetics.
DSAP is a rare, non-cancerous, non-contagious skin disorderthat causes dry, itchy lesions on the arms and legs. It usually begins to develop in adolescents and reach near-complete penetrance by the third or fourth decade of life. The accumulated sun exposure is a risk factor for DSAP. DSAP is a chronic disorder; it can be treated, but it cannot be cured. In this study, Chinese researchers performed exome sequencing in two affected and one unaffected individuals who belong to a DSAP family. Through variants analysis and data filtering, they supposedthat MVK gene emerged as the only candidate gene located in previously defined linkage region linked to DSAP. Then they confirmed the co-segregation between the identified novel deleterious mutation and DSAP phenotype within the family.
Xuejun Zhang, corresponding author of this study, President of Anhui Medical University, said, “The exome sequencing is an effective method for identifying disease gene of monogenetic diseases in recent years. In this study, the Chinese scientists found disease gene MVK for DSAP using exome sequencing plus functional study. It not only indicates China has step into the most advanced level in searchingthe disease genes for monogenetic disease in the world, but also provides scientific basis for revealing DSAP pathogenesis, genetic counseling, risk prediction, prenatal diagnosis, new drug development, clinical diagnosis and treatment.”