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J Clin Invest. 1990 Apr;85(4):1014-23.

Common low-density lipoprotein receptor mutations in the French Canadian population.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas 75235.


Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) has a frequency of 0.2% in most populations of the world. In selected populations such as the Afrikaners in South Africa, the Christian Lebanese, and the French Canadians, the disease is more frequent due to the founder effect. Previous studies demonstrated that a single mutation at the LDL receptor locus, the so-called French Canadian deletion, makes up 60% of the mutant genes responsible for FH in the French Canadian population. In this study, efforts were directed to determine if there were other common LDL receptor mutations in this population. Three missense mutations were identified and each mutation was reproduced and expressed in vitro. Two of the three mutations result in the production of an LDL receptor protein that is not processed to its mature form at a normal rate. Molecular assays were developed to detect the mutations directly, and the LDL receptor genes of 130 French Canadian FH heterozygotes were screened for the presence of the three missense mutations as well as two deletions. LDL receptor mutations were detected in 76% of individuals and 14% had one of the three missense mutations.

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