Blasco-Pérez, et al. (2023) The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics. In Press.
Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is an autosomal dominant genetic disorder characterized by the presence of hamartomas in multiple organs. At the molecular level, the disease is caused by pathogenic variants in the TSC1 and TSC2 genes, and only 10% to 25% of clinically diagnosed patients remain negative after multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification and exon sequencing of both genes. Here, to improve the molecular diagnosis of TSC, we developed an integral approach that includes multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification and deep-coverage next-generation sequencing of the entire TSC1 and TSC2 genes, along with an adapted bioinformatic pipeline to detect variants at low allele frequencies (>1%). Using this workflow, the molecular cause was identified in 29 of 42 patients with TSC, describing here, for the first time, 12 novel pathogenic variants in TSC genes. These variants included seven splicing variants, five of which were studied at the cDNA level, determining their effect on splicing. In addition, 8 of the 29 pathogenic variants were detected in mosaicism, including four patients with previous negative study results who presented extremely low mosaic variants (allele frequency, <16%). We demonstrate that this integral approach allows the molecular diagnosis of patients with TSC and improves the conventional one by adapting the technology to the detection of low-frequency mosaics.