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Thromb Haemost. 1992 Jan 23;67(1):63-5.

Characterization of the original Christmas disease mutation (cysteine 206----serine): from clinical recognition to molecular pathogenesis.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.


Christmas disease was first reported as a distinct clinical entity in two manuscripts published in 1952. The eponym associated with this disorder, is the surname of the first patient examined in detail and reported by Biggs and colleagues in a paper describing the clinical and laboratory features of seven affected individuals. This patient has severe factor IX coagulant deficiency (less than 0.01 units/ml) and no detectable circulating factor IX antigen (less than 0.01 units/ml). Coding sequence and splice junctions of the factor IX gene from this patient have been amplified in vitro through the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). One nucleotide substitution was identified at nucleotide 30,070 where a guanine was replaced by a cytosine. This mutation alters the amino acid encoded at position 206 in the factor IX protein from cysteine to serine. The non conservative nature of this substitution, the absence of this change in more than 200 previously sequenced factor IX genes and the fact that the remainder of the coding region of this gene was normal, all provide strong circumstantial evidence in favour of this change being the causative mutation in this patient. The molecular characterization of this novel mutation in the index case of Christmas disease, contributes to the rapidly expanding body of knowledge pertaining to Christmas disease pathogenesis.

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