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Am J Hum Genet. Feb 1992; 50(2): 422–426.
PMCID: PMC1682451

Molecular characterization of beta-thalassemia in the Sardinian population.

Abstract

This study reports the molecular characterization of beta-thalassemia in the Sardinian population. Three thousand beta-thalassemia chromosomes from prospective parents presenting at the genetic service were initially analyzed by dot blot analysis with oligonucleotide probes complementary to the most common beta-thalassemia mutations in the Mediterranean at-risk populations. the mutations which remained uncharacterized by this approach were defined by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) followed by direct sequence analysis on amplified DNA. We reconfirmed that the predominant mutation in the Sardinian population is the codon 39 nonsense mutation, which accounts for 95.7% of the beta-thalassemia chromosomes. The other two relatively common mutations are frameshifts at codon 6 (2.1%) and at codon 76 (0.7%), relatively uncommon in other Mediterranean-origin populations. In this study we have detected a novel beta-thalassemia mutation, i.e., a frameshift at codon 1, in three beta-thalassemia chromosomes. The DGGE procedure followed by direct sequencing on amplified DNA is a powerful approach for the characterization of unknown mutations in this genetic system. The results herein presented allowed an expansion of the applicability of prenatal diagnosis by DNA analysis, to all couples at risk for beta-thalassemia in our population.

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Selected References

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