Neurofibromatosis type 1 molecular diagnosis: what can NGS do for you when you have a large gene with loss of function mutations?

Research paper by Eric E Pasmant, Béatrice B Parfait, Armelle A Luscan, Philippe P Goussard, Audrey A Briand-Suleau, Ingrid I Laurendeau, Corinne C Fouveaut, Chrystel C Leroy, Annelore A Montadert, Pierre P Wolkenstein, Michel M Vidaud, Dominique D Vidaud

Indexed on: 31 Jul '14Published on: 31 Jul '14Published in: European Journal of Human Genetics


Molecular diagnosis of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is challenging owing to the large size of the tumour suppressor gene NF1, and the lack of mutation hotspots. A somatic alteration of the wild-type NF1 allele is observed in NF1-associated tumours. Genetic heterogeneity in NF1 was confirmed in patients with SPRED1 mutations. Here, we present a targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) of NF1 and SPRED1 using a multiplex PCR approach (230 amplicons of ∼150 bp) on a PGM sequencer. The chip capacity allowed mixing 48 bar-coded samples in a 4-day workflow. We validated the NGS approach by retrospectively testing 30 NF1-mutated samples, and then prospectively analysed 279 patients in routine diagnosis. On average, 98.5% of all targeted bases were covered by at least 20X and 96% by at least 100X. An NF1 or SPRED1 alteration was found in 246/279 (88%) and 10/279 (4%) patients, respectively. Genotyping throughput was increased over 10 times, as compared with Sanger, with ∼90[euro ] for consumables per sample. Interestingly, our targeted NGS approach also provided quantitative information based on sequencing depth allowing identification of multiexons deletion or duplication. We then addressed the NF1 somatic mutation detection sensitivity in mosaic NF1 patients and tumours.