Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract In Caucasians, the R506Q mutation in exon 10 of the factor V gene (FV Leiden) confers an increased risk of thromboembolism. We have scanned this region of the gene for possible mutations in 450 subjects from populations at risk for sickle cell disease (SCD). The R506Q mutation was absent in subjects from sub-Saharan Africa, whereas its allelic frequency was 2.5% in the West Indies. Only one other substitution with no functional consequences in vitro (R485K) was found (32.4% allelic frequency) in sub-Saharan Africa. Thus, we found no mutations in exon 10 of the FV gene constituting an additional risk factor for thrombosis in SCD in sub-Saharan Africa. This suggests that the putative selective advantage conferred by R506Q does not exist in these populations, unless R485K has functional consequences in vivo. It further suggests that R506Q in American Africans is of Caucasian origin. Our data are the first to document ethnic variations in the frequency of the R485K polymorphism.
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