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Am J Hum Genet. 1995 Oct;57(4):789-97.

Molecular characterization of minor gene rearrangements in Finnish patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia: identification of two common missense mutations (Gly823-->Asp and Leu380-->His) and eight rare mutations of the LDL receptor gene.

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Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki, Finland.


Two deletions of the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor gene were previously shown to account for about two thirds of all mutations causing familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) in Finland. We screened the DNA samples from a cohort representing the remaining 30% of Finnish heterozygous FH patients by amplifying all the 18 exons of the receptor gene by PCR and searching for DNA variations with the SSCP technique. Ten novel mutations were identified, comprising two nonsense and seven missense mutations as well as one frameshift mutation caused by a 13-bp deletion. A single nucleotide change, substituting adenine for guanidine at position 2533 and resulting in an amino acid change of glycine to aspartic acid at codon 823, was found in DNA samples from 14 unrelated FH probands. This mutation (FH-Turku) affects the sequence encoding the putative basolateral sorting signal of the LDL receptor protein; however, the exact functional consequences of this mutation are yet to be examined. The FH-Turku gene and another point mutation (Leu380-->His or FH-Pori) together account for approximately 8% of the FH-causing genes in Finland and are particularly common among FH patients from the southwestern part of the country (combined, 30%). Primer-introduced restriction analysis was applied for convenient assay of the FH-Turku and FH-Pori point mutations. In conclusion, this paper demonstrates the unique genetic background of FH in Finland and describes a commonly occurring FH gene with a missense mutation closest to the C terminus thus far reported.

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