Carrier frequency of the IVS4 + 4 A—>T mutation of the Fanconi anemia gene FAC in the Ashkenazi Jewish population

P C Verlander, A Kaporis, Q Liu, Q Zhang, U Seligsohn, A D Auerbach
Blood 1995 December 1, 86 (11): 4034-8
Fanconi anemia (FA) is a genetically and phenotypically heterogeneous autosomal recessive disorder defined by a cellular hypersensitivity to DNA cross-linking agents. One of the FA genes, FAC, has been cloned and the genomic structure of the coding region has been characterized. We have developed amplification refractory mutation system (ARMS) assays for five known mutations in FAC, and have applied these assays to determine the carrier frequency of the IVS4 + 4 A-->T (IVS4) mutation in an Ashkenazi Jewish population. We tested 3,104 Jewish individuals, primarily of Ashkenazi descent, for the two most common FAC mutations, IVS4 and 322delG. Thirty-five IVS4 carriers were identified, for a carrier frequency of 1 in 89 (1.1%; 95% confidence interval 0.79% to 1.56%); no 322delG carriers were found. To determine if the IVS4 mutation was confined to the Ashkenazi Jewish population, we tested 563 Iraqi Jews for IVS4, and no carriers were found. Because the IVS4 mutation has only been found on chromosomes of Ashkenazi Jewish origin and is the only FAC mutation found on these chromosomes, we suggest that a founder effect is responsible for the high frequency of this mutation. With a carrier frequency greater than 1% and simple testing available, the IVS4 mutation merits inclusion in the battery of tests routinely provided to the Jewish population.

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