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Title: Mutation analysis of Wolfram syndrome patients and functional study of the wolframin protein
Author: Prince, Samantha
ISNI:       0000 0004 2729 6999
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2012
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Mutations of the WFS1 gene are responsible for most cases of Wolfram syndrome (WS), a rare, recessively inherited neurodegenerative disorder characterised by juvenile-onset non-autoimmune diabetes mellitus and optic atrophy. Variants of WFS1 are also associated with non-syndromic hearing loss and type-2 diabetes. Understanding the function of the WFS1 protein-product wolframin, would enable developments in targeted therapy for WS patients and important insights to its possible contribution to type-2 diabetes pathogenesis. This study was aimed at expanding the spectrum of WS-associated genetic mutations and clinical data, and investigating the molecular mechanisms responsible for phenotypic variation associated with WFS1-mutation. The mutational and phenotypic spectrum of WS is broadened by our report of novel WFS1 mutations and a case of WFS2-associated WS. New perspectives on the molecular mechanisms linking mutation to disease manifestation are also taken by characterisation of representative WFS1 mutations specific to phenotype, identification of potentially novel WFS1 interacting partners, and the first evidence linking WFS1 with the exocrine pancreas. Our data suggests that some WFS1-mutations may allow residual protein function and these findings lay the groundwork for future functional investigation of mutated wolframin to explore this hypothesis further.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: MRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QH301 Biology ; QH426 Genetics ; RB Pathology ; RZ Other systems of medicine