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Am J Hum Genet. 1995 Feb;56(2):428-33.

Haplotype analysis in Australian hemochromatosis patients: evidence for a predominant ancestral haplotype exclusively associated with hemochromatosis.

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Liver Unit, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Bancroft Centre, Brisbane, Australia.


Hemochromatosis (HC), an inherited disorder of iron metabolism, shows a very strong founder effect in Australia, with the majority of patients being of Celtic (Scots/Irish) origin. Australian HC patients thus provide an ideal group in which to examine HC-gene-region haplotypes, to analyze the extent of linkage disequilibrium and genetic heterogeneity in HC. We have analyzed chromosomes from 26 multiply affected HC pedigrees, and we were able to assign HC status unambiguously to 107 chromosomes--64 as affected and 43 as unaffected. The haplotypes examined comprise the following highly polymorphic markers: the serological marker HLA-A and the microsatellites D6S248, D6S265, HLA-F, and D6S105. All show highly significant allelic association with HC and no evidence of separation from the disease locus by recombination. Analysis identified a predominant ancestral haplotype comprising alleles 5-1-3-2-8 (marker order: D6S248-D6S265-HLA-A-HLA-F-D6S105), present in 21 (33%) of 64 affected chromosomes, and exclusively associated with HC (haplotype relative risk 903). No other common haplotype was significantly associated with HC. Haplotype analysis in Australian HC patients thus provides strong evidence for (a) the introduction of HC into this population on an ancestral haplotype, (b) a common mutation associated with HC in Australian patients, and (c) a candidate HC-gene region extending between and including D6S248 and D6S105.

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