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J Med Genet. 2007 Oct;44(10):e89.

The T/G 13915 variant upstream of the lactase gene (LCT) is the founder allele of lactase persistence in an urban Saudi population.

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1
King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The prevalence of lactase persistence is high in Saudi Arabia.

OBJECTIVE:

To identify a DNA variant for the lactase persistence/non-persistence trait in adult Arabs in Saudi Arabia.

METHODS:

We sequenced DNA from 432 anonymous neonatal blood donors from five different regions of Saudi Arabia to cover the 400 bp region surrounding the previously identified lactase persistence/non-persistence variant C/T-13910 residing in intron 13 of the MCM6 gene.

RESULTS:

Two anonymous blood donors carried the C/T-13910 genotype. One variant, T/G -13915, residing 5 bp upstream of the C/T-13910 variant, was present in 332 of 432 (76.9%) of the neonatal samples, compatible with previous prevalence figures of lactase persistence in urban Saudi populations. Determination of disaccharidase activities in 25 intestinal biopsy samples showed a highly significant correlation between lactase activity and the T/G-13915 genotypes (p<0.001; Fisher exact test) as well as between the L:S ratio and the aforementioned genotypes (p<0.001; Fisher exact test).

CONCLUSION:

The T/G-13915 variant is the founder mutation of lactase persistence in an urban Saudi population. The results obtained here have implications for genetic testing of adult-type hypolactasia and to analysis of human evolution, the origin of cattle domestication and migrations of the populations in the Arabian peninsula.

PMID:
17911653
PMCID:
PMC2597971
DOI:
10.1136/jmg.2007.051631
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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