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Hum Hered. 2000 Nov-Dec;50(6):331-3.

Evidence for a founder effect in Sicilian patients with glycogen storage disease type II.

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Laboratorio di Diagnosi Pre e Postnatale di Malattie Metaboliche, Istituto G. Gaslini, Genova, Italy.


Glycogen storage disease type II (GSD II) is an autosomal recessive inherited disorder due to the deficiency of the enzyme acid alpha-glucosidase, which causes an accumulation of glycogen in lysosomes. The deletion of exon 18 (delta 18) is a frequent mutation associated with a severe phenotype. We analyzed 25 Italian patients, 5 of whom were found to be delta 18 carriers. All these 5 patients came from Catania, a town in Sicily. We report on the analysis of 5 intragenic single-point polymorphic markers in the delta 18 patients and on the subsequent characterization of a delta 18-associated haplotype. The frequency of this haplotype in GSD II patients and normal individuals was 1 and 0.196, respectively (chi(2) = 20.9; p < 0.001). The high frequency of the delta 18 allele in this Italian subpopulation is likely to be due to a founder effect.

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