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Am J Hum Genet. 1995 Jun;56(6):1373-8.

New founder haplotypes at the myotonic dystrophy locus in southern Africa.

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Department of Human Genetics, School of Pathology, South African Institute for Medical Research, Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.


The association between normal alleles at the CTG repeat and two nearby polymorphisms in the myotonin protein kinase gene, the Alu insertion/deletion polymorphism and the myotonic dystrophy kinase (DMK)(G/T) intron 9/HinfI polymorphism, has been analyzed in South African Negroids, a population in which myotonic dystrophy (DM) has not been described. South African Negroids have a CTG allelic distribution that is significantly different from that in Caucasoids and Japanese: the CTG repeat lengths of > or = 19 are very rare. The striking linkage disequilibrium between specific alleles at the Alu polymorphism (Alu(ins) and Alu(del)), the HinfI polymorphism (HinfI-1 and HinfI-2), and the CTG repeat polymorphism seen in Caucasoid (Europeans and Canadians) populations was also found in the South African Negroid population. Numerous haplotypes, not previously described in Europeans, were, however, found. It thus seems likely that only a small number of these "African" chromosomes were present in the progenitors of all non-African peoples. These data provide support for the "out of Africa" model for the origin of modern humans and suggest that the rare ancestral DM mutation event may have occurred after the migration from Africa, hence the absence of DM in sub-Saharan Negroid peoples.

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