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Ann Hum Genet. 2004 May;68(Pt 3):265-8.

Ancestral founder mutation of the nude (FOXN1) gene in congenital severe combined immunodeficiency associated with alopecia in southern Italy population.

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Department of Pediatrics, "Federico II" University, Naples, Italy.


Genetic alterations of the FOXN1 transcription factor, selectively expressed in thymic epithelia and skin, are responsible in both mice and humans for the Nude/SCID phenotype. The first described human FOXN1 mutation was a C792T transition in exon 5 resulting in the nonsense mutation R255X, and was detected in two probands originated from a small community in southern Italy. In this community, four additional children affected with congenital alopecia died in early childhood because of severe infections. In this study, we report on the screening for this mutation in 30% of the village population. This analysis led us to identify 55 heterozygous carriers (6.52%) of the R255X mutation out of 843 inhabitants screened. A genealogical study revealed that these subjects, belonging to 39 families, were linked in an extended 7-generational pedigree comprising 483 individuals. Through the archival database a single ancestral couple, born at the beginning of the 19th century, was identified. To confirm the ancestral origin of the mutation we genotyped two microsatellite markers, D17S2187 and D17S1880, flanking the FOXN1 gene on chromosome 17. The three haplotypes identified, 3/R255X/3, 3/R255X/2 and 3/R255X/1, are consistent with a single ancestral origin for the mutation R255X.

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