Mutations of DNAH11 in patients with primary ciliary dyskinesia with normal ciliary ultrastructure

Michael R. Knowles, Margaret W. Leigh, Johnny L. Carson, Stephanie D. Davis, Sharon D. Dell, Thomas W. Ferkol, Kenneth N. Olivier, Scott D. Sagel, Margaret Rosenfeld, Kimberlie A. Burns, Susan L. Minnix, Michael C. Armstrong, Adriana Lori, Milan J. Hazucha, Niki T. Loges, Heike Olbrich, Anita Becker-Heck, Miriam Schmidts, Claudius Werner, Heymut OmranMaimoona A. Zariwala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

176 Scopus citations


Rationale: Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is an autosomal recessive, genetically heterogeneous disorder characterised by oto-sino-pulmonary disease and situs abnormalities (Kartagener syndrome) due to abnormal structure and/or function of cilia. Most patients currently recognised to have PCD have ultrastructural defects of cilia; however, some patients have clinical manifestations of PCD and low levels of nasal nitric oxide, but normal ultrastructure, including a few patients with biallelic mutations in dynein axonemal heavy chain 11 (DNAH11). Objectives: To test further for mutant DNAH11 as a cause of PCD, DNAH11 was sequenced in patients with a PCD clinical phenotype, but no known genetic aetiology. Methods: 82 exons and intron/exon junctions in DNAH11 were sequenced in 163 unrelated patients with a clinical phenotype of PCD, including those with normal ciliary ultrastructure (n=58), defects in outer and/or inner dynein arms (n=76), radial spoke/central pair defects (n=6), and 23 without definitive ultrastructural results, but who had situs inversus (n=17), or bronchiectasis and/or low nasal nitric oxide (n=6). Additionally, DNAH11 was sequenced in 13 subjects with isolated situs abnormalities to see if mutant DNAH11 could cause situs defects without respiratory disease. Results: Of the 58 unrelated patients with PCD with normal ultrastructure, 13 (22%) had two (biallelic) mutations in DNAH11; and two patients without ultrastructural analysis had biallelic mutations. All mutations were novel and private. None of the patients with dynein arm or radial spoke/central pair defects, or isolated situs abnormalities, had mutations in DNAH11. Of the 35 identified mutant alleles, 24 (69%) were nonsense, insertion/deletion or loss-of-function splice-site mutations. Conclusions: Mutations in DNAH11 are a common cause of PCD in patients without ciliary ultrastructural defects; thus, genetic analysis can be used to ascertain the diagnosis of PCD in this challenging group of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-441
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012


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