Date of Award

January 2012

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)

Department

Medicine

First Advisor

Keith A. Choate

Subject Area(s)

Medicine

Abstract

Epidermolysis bullosa pruriginosa (EBP) is a rare subtype of dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB) characterized by intense pruritus, nodular or lichenoid lesions, and violaceous linear scarring most prominent on the extensor extremities. Remarkably, identical mutations in COL7A1, which encodes an anchoring fibril protein present at the dermal-epidermal junction, can cause both DEB and EBP with either autosomal dominant or recessive inheritance. We present one family with both dystrophic and pruriginosa phenotypes of epidermolysis bullosa. The proband is a 19-year-old Caucasian female who initially presented in childhood with lichenoid papules affecting her extensor limbs and intense pruritus consistent with EBP. Her maternal grandmother was followed by a dermatologist for similar skin lesions that developed without any known triggers at age 47 and mostly resolved spontaneously after approximately ten years. The proband's younger brother developed a small crop of pruritic papules on his elbows, dorsal hands, knees, and ankles at age 13. Her second cousin once removed, however, report a mild blistering disease without pruritus consistent with DEB. Genetic sequencing of the kindred revealed a single dominant novel intron 47 splice site donor G>A mutation, c.4668+1 G>A, which we predict leads to exon skipping. Incomplete penetrance is confirmed in her clinically-unaffected mother, who also carries the same dominant mutation. The wide diversity of clinical phenotypes with one underlying genotype demonstrates that COL7A1 mutations are incompletely penetrant and strongly suggests that other genetic and environmental factors influence clinical presentation.

Comments

This is an Open Access Thesis.

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