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J Lipid Res. 2005 Feb;46(2):366-72. Epub 2004 Dec 1.

Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification of LDLR enhances molecular diagnosis of familial hypercholesterolemia.

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Robarts Research Institute, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5K8.


Autosomal dominant (AD) familial hypercholesterolemia [FH; Mendelian Inheritance in Man (MIM) 143890] typically results from mutations in the LDL receptor gene (LDLR), which are now commonly diagnosed using exon-by-exon screening methods, such as exon-by-exon sequence analysis (EBESA) of genomic DNA (gDNA). However, many patients with FH have no LDLR mutation identified by this method. Part of the diagnostic gap is attributable to the genetic heterogeneity of AD FH, but another possible explanation is inadequate sensitivity of EBESA to detect certain mutation types, such as large deletions or insertions in LDLR. Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) is a new method that detects larger gDNA alterations that are overlooked by EBESA. We hypothesized that some FH patients with no LDLR mutation detectable by EBESA would have an abnormal LDLR MLPA pattern. In 70 unrelated FH patients, 44 had LDLR mutations detected by EBESA, including missense, RNA splicing, nonsense, or small deletion mutations, and 5 had the APOB R3500Q mutation. Among the remaining 21 AD FH patients with no apparent LDLR mutation, we found abnormal LDLR MLPA patterns in 12 and then demonstrated the deleted sequence in 5 of these. These findings indicate that MLPA may be a useful new adjunctive tool for the molecular diagnosis of FH.

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