, Volume 98, Issue 11, pp 943-949
Date: 21 Sep 2011

New contributions to the study of common double mutants in the human LDL receptor gene

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Variations in the gene encoding the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) can cause familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), one of the most common inherited metabolic disorders in humans. The functional effects of the p.Gln92Glu and p.Asn564His alterations are predicted as benign, but the c.313 + 1G>C and p.Lys799_Phe801del changes are believed to cause disease. Although p.Gln92Glu and c.313 + 1G>C have been observed only in Spain, p.Asn564His and p.Lys799_Phe801del are widespread in Western Europe. In order to estimate the ages (t generations) of these four variants of the gene, to determine their possible origin and to consider the influence of age and selective pressure on their spread, we analyzed 86 healthy individuals and 126 FH patients in Spain. Most of the FH patients investigated carried two of these four LDLR variants simultaneously, while only one patient carried three of them simultaneously. Haplotype analyses were based on five LDLR SNPs: c.81T>C, c.1413G>A, c.1725C>T, c.1959T>C and c.2232G>A. The results suggest that p.Gln92Glu and c.313 + 1G>C arose at about the same time (99 and 103 generations ago, respectively) in the CACTG haplotype and that p.Asn564His and p.Lys799_Phe801del appeared in the CGCCG haplotype and might be slightly more recent variations (92 and 95 generations ago, respectively). Low selective pressures could explain the maintenance of these variants in spite of their ages. The origin of p.Gln92Glu and c.313 + 1G>C appears to be in Spain whereas p.Asn564His and p.Lys799_Phe801del could have been introduced in Spain by Celtic migrations in the seventh to fifth centuries BC.

Communicated by: Sven Thatje