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Pediatr Res. 2009 Dec;66(6):631-5. doi: 10.1203/PDR.0b013e3181bd5a31.

Serotonin-related FEV gene variant in the sudden infant death syndrome is a common polymorphism in the African-American population.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Enders Building Room 1111, Children's Hospital Boston, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


An important subset of the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is associated with multiple serotonergic (5-HT) abnormalities in regions of the medulla oblongata. The mouse ortholog of the fifth Ewing variant gene (FEV) is critical for 5-HT neuronal development. A putatively rare intronic variant [IVS2-191_190insA, here referred to as c.128-(191_192)dupA] has been reported as a SIDS-associated mutation in an African-American population. We tested this association in an independent dataset: 137 autopsied cases (78 SIDS, 59 controls) and an additional 296 control DNA samples from Coriell Cell Repositories. In addition to the c.128-(191_192)dupA variant, we observed an associated single-base deletion [c.128-(301-306)delG] in a subset of the samples. Neither of the two FEV variants showed significant association with SIDS in either the African-American subgroup or the overall cohort. Although we found a significant association of c.128-(191_192)dupA with SIDS when San Diego Hispanic SIDS cases were compared with San Diego Hispanic controls plus Mexican controls (p = 0.04), this became nonsignificant after multiple testing correction. Among Coriell controls, 33 of 99 (33%) African-American and 0 of 197 (0%) of the remaining controls carry the polymorphism (c.128-(191_192)dupA). The polymorphism seems to be a common, likely nonpathogenic, variant in the African-American population.

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