ORIGINAL PAPER

HFE Gene C282Y, H63D and S65C Mutations Frequency in the Transylvania Region, Romania

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Adrian P. Trifa1, Radu A. Popp1, Mariela S. Militaru1, Marius F. Farcaș1, Tania O. Crișan1, Ionuț Gana2, Andrei Cucuianu3, Ioan V. Pop1


1) Department of Medical Genetics, "Iuliu Hațieganu" University of Medicine and Pharmacy;
2) Cluj County Emergency Hospital;
3) Department of Haematology, "Iuliu Hațieganu" University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-
Napoca, Romania


Abstract


Background & Aims. HFE-associated haemochromatosis is one of the most frequent autosomal recessive disorders in the Caucasian population. Although most of the cases are homozygous individuals for the C282Y mutation, another two mutations, H63D and S65C, have been reported to be associated with milder forms of the disease. This study was a first attempt to evaluate the distribution of these HFE gene mutations in the Transylvania region.

Methods. Two-hundred and twenty-five healthy, unrelated volunteers originating from the Transylvania region, Romania, were screened for the HFE gene C282Y, H63D and S65C mutations, using molecular genetics assays (Polymerase Chain Reaction- Restriction Fragments Length Polymorphism).

Results. For the C282Y mutation, 7 heterozygotes (3.1%) were found,
but no homozygous individual. In the case of the H63D mutation, 40 heterozygotes (17.8%) and 4 homozygotes (1.75%) for the mutant allele were evidenced. We found a compound heterozygous genotype (C282Y/H63D) in one individual (0.45%). Thus, the allele frequencies of the C282Y and H63D were 1.75% and 10.9%, respectively. Three individuals (1.3%) were found to harbour the S65C
mutation in a heterozygous state, but none in a homozygous state: the allele frequency of the mutant allele was 0.75%.

Conclusions. The distribution of the HFE gene C282Y, H63D and S65C mutations found in our group matches the tendencies observed in other European countries: a decreasing gradient from Northern to Southern Europe for the C282Y mutation; high frequency for the H63D mutation,
and low frequency for the S65C mutation in most of the countries.

Keywords

HFE gene - mutations - PCR-RFLP - screening - Transylvania.