J Genet Med.  1998 Dec;2(2):53-57.

Prenatal diagnosis of the spinal muscular atrophy type I using genetic information from archival slides and paraffin-embedded tissues

  • 1Genetic Research Laboratory, Samsung Cheil Hospital and Women's Healthcare Center, Medical Research Institute, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul 110-745, Korea. nenelab@samsung.co.kr
  • 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Samsung Cheil Hospital and Women's Healthcare Center, College of Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul 110-745, Korea.
  • 3Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul 110-799, Korea.


Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type I is a common severe autosomal recessive inherited neuromuscular disorder that has been mapped to chromosome 5q11.2-13.3. The survival motor neuron (SMN) gene, a candidate gene, is known to be deleted in 96% of patients with SMA type I. Presently, PCR and single strand conformation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) analyses have been made possible for application to both archival slides and paraffin-embedded tissues. Archival materials represent valuable DNA resources for genetic diagnosis. We applied these methods for the identification of SMN gene of SMA type I in archival specimens for the prenatal diagnosis. In this study, we performed the prenatal diagnosis with chorionic villus sampling (CVS) cells on two women who had experienced neonatal death of SMA type I. DNA extraction was done from archival slide and tissue materials and PEP-PCR was performed using CVS cells. In order to identify common deletion region of SMN and neuronal apoptosis-inhibitory protein (NAIP) genes, cold PCR-SSCP and PCR-restriction site assay were carried out. Case 1 had deletions of the exons 7 and 8, and case 2 had exon 7 only on the telomeric SMN gene. Both cases were found to be normal on NAIP gene. These results were the same for both CVS and archival biopsied specimens. In both cases, the fetuses were, therefore, predicted to be at very high risk of being affected and the pregnancy were terminated. These data clearly demonstrate that archival slide and paraffin-embedded tissues can be a valuable source of DNA when the prenatal genetic diagnosis is needed in case any source for genetic analysis is not readily available due to previous death of the fetus or neonate.


Survival Motor neuron Gene; Neuronal Apoptosis Inhibitory Protein Gene; Archival Slides & Paraffin-Embedded Tissues
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