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Arterioscler Thromb. 1991 Mar-Apr;11(2):234-43.

Characterization of three mutations of the low density lipoprotein receptor gene in Italian patients with familial hypercholesterolemia.

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  • 1Istituto di Patologia Generale Universit√† di Modena, Italia.


Three gross rearrangements of the low density lipoprotein receptor (LDL-R) gene were recognized during a survey of 23 unrelated Italian subjects with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). Restriction endonuclease data were obtained by Southern blotting and hybridization with exon-specific probes. Proband FH-29 is heterozygous for a 4-kb deletion, which eliminates exons 13 and 14. This mutation is similar to that previously reported by other investigators in one Italian homozygous and two British and Canadian heterozygous patients. Proband FH-30 is homozygous for a 5.5-kb insertion caused by a duplication of exons 16 and 17 of the LDL-R gene. LDL-R mRNA isolated from skin fibroblasts of FH-30 was found to be larger than normal mRNA (5.6 versus 5.3 kb), in concordance with the insertion of the 236 nucleotides corresponding to exons 16 and 17. Proband FH-44 was found to have greater than 25-kb deletion, which eliminates the first six exons and the promoter region of the gene. This is the first example of a deletion that eliminates the promoter as well as the ligand-binding domain of the LDL-R gene. In the skin fibroblasts of this patient, the level of LDL-R mRNA was approximately half that found in control fibroblasts. We designate the new mutations found in FH-30 and FH-44 as FHviterbo and FHBologna-1, respectively, after the names of the Italian cities where the two patients were born.

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