Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis screening for mutations in the hereditary hyperferritinaemia cataract syndrome

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Hereditary hyperferritinaemia cataract syndrome (HHCS) is characterized by hyperferritinaemia without iron overload. It is essential to differentiate true iron accumulation from HHCS as these patients rapidly develop iron-deficient anaemia when subjected to phlebotomies. The diagnosis of HHCS relies on the identification of point mutations or deletions present in the iron-responsive element of the first exon of the L-ferritin gene. However, many samples referred for diagnosis of putative HHCS are normal. To avoid unnecessary DNA sequencing, we have developed a diagnosis strategy based on the screening of the target DNA region by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. This method enabled the accurate identification of 11 different previously known mutations. This strategy will be of interest for family studies or for the screening of large series of patients.

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