Thyroglobulin (Tg) mutations were previously believed to be rare, resulting in congenital goitrous hypothyroidism. However, an increasing number of patients with Tg mutations, who are euthyroid to mildly hypothyroid, have been identified in Japan.Objectives:
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the three frequently found Tg mutations, namely C1058R, C1245R, and C1977S, were caused by a founder effect.Results:
We found 26 different mutations within the Tg gene in 52 patients from 41 families. Thirty-five patients were homozygous for the mutations, whereas the others were compound heterozygous. The occurrence of Tg mutation within the general Japanese population is one in 67,000. Patients with the C1245R mutation were found throughout Japan, whereas those with the C1058R mutation were confined to a small village on a southern island, and those with the C1977S mutation were restricted to a city. The eight patients with the C1058R mutation and the seven patients with the C1977S mutation all showed the same combinations of 18 single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the coding region of the Tg gene, which would appear in one in 810 million and one in 37 billion, respectively, control subjects.Conclusions:
The frequently found mutations, C1058R and C1977S, were caused by founder effects. This result suggests that Tg mutations may provide a genetic basis for the cause of familial euthyroid goiter.