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Eur J Hum Genet. 1999 Apr;7(3):386-92.

Genetic and phenotypic aspects of phenylalanine hydroxylase deficiency in Spain: molecular survey by regions.

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  • 1Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa CSIC-UAM, Universidad Autónoma, Madrid, Spain.


We present an extensive study of the genetic diversity of phenylalanine hydroxylase deficiency in the Spanish phenylketonuria population. We have analysed 195 PKU patients by DGGE analysis identifying 67 different mutations which represent 89% of the total mutant chromosomes. Seventeen mutations first described in Spain have not yet been detected elsewhere; ten of these are reported here for the first time. The clinical significance of this high genetic heterogeneity was examined by analysing the genotype-phenotype correlations, mainly focusing on the mild hyperphenylalaninaemia (MHP) phenotype. The genotypes found in a group of 93 MHP patients, the largest analysed so far, are described in detail, as well as the relative frequencies of the MHP mutations identified. From the total pool of mutations, 27 can be considered severe, 18 can be defined as mild and 13 as associated with MHP. The prevalent mutations correspond to one severe mutation (IVS10nt-11), one MHP mutation (A403V) and two mild mutations (165T and V388M). The high frequency of mutations with a low degree of severity can explain the relatively higher prevalence of MHP and mild PKU phenotypes in Spain compared with NOrthern European populations. We have looked at the geographical distribution in Spain of the more common mutations, finding evidence of local mutation clustering, which could be the result of differences in the ethnic background and/or of genetic drift within each region.

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