Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract. Acute intermittent porphyria (AIP), the most common acute hepatic porphyria, is a low-penetrant autosomal dominant disorder caused by mutations in the porphobilinogen deaminase (PBGD) or hydroxymethylbilane synthase (HMBS) gene. Although AIP has been identified in all the main ethnic groups, little is known about PBGD gene defects in Africans, Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Americans. We have carried out PBGD gene screening among seven unrelated AIP families and 98 controls belonging to the Afro-Caribbean (French West Indies) and the sub-Saharan African (Morocco, Algeria, Cameroon, Mali, and Burkina Faso) populations. Using denaturing-gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and direct sequencing we characterized six different mutations, including four novel, from the seven AIP families: three splicing defects (IVS 5+2 Ins G; IVS 7+1 G to A in two families; IVS 10–1 G to T); a small deletion (1004 Del G); and two missense mutations (R116 W; A270G). The allele frequencies of the 14 polymorphic sites, previously known in the normal Caucasian population, were similar in Africans and Afro-Caribbean control populations. Interestingly, two common new intragenic polymorphic sites, close to intron/junction boundaries, were identified only in blacks: 1) in intron 2, a single base-pair G deletion at position 3167 (G:0.88; delG:0.12); 2) in intron 10, a A/G dimorphism at position 7052 (A:0.56; G:0.44). These two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were never encountered in 750 unrelated Caucasian subjects. The allele frequency distributions of populations within black ethnic groups (Africans and Afro-Caribbean) are similar. This study highlights differences both in PBGD gene mutations causing AIP and in SNPs between white and black peoples; the allele frequencies provided contribute to a better knowledge of the variability of these markers among the major population groups, especially in sub-Saharan West African and Afro-Caribbean populations.
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