High incidence of the Cys 282 Tyr mutation in the HFE gene in the Irish population - implications for haemochromatosis

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A simple PCR-SSOP approach based on a single PCR product has been developed to screen the HFE gene for the haemochromatosis-associated mutations Cys 282 Tyr and His 63 Asp. Using this approach the prevalence of these mutations in a cohort (30) of haemochromatosis patients and normal controls (404) was determined. Ninety percent of the haemochromatosis patients were homozygous for the Cys 282 Tyr mutation. In the normal population we found an increased incidence of the Cys 282 Tyr mutation (17.3%; 95% confidence limits 0.136-0.209) which was also reflected in the higher frequency of Cys 282 Tyr homozygotes (1.24%; 95% confidence limits 0.0016-0.0232). Linkage disequilbrium analysis confirmed the association between A*03 and Cys 282 Tyr. However, strong linkage disequilibrium occurred with the HLA-A*03-associated allele HLA-B*14 but not the HLA-A*03-associated allele HLA-B*07. The His 63 Asp was found to be in linkage disquilibrium with HLA-A*29.

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