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Contribution to the Description of the β‐Thalassemia Spectrum in Tunisia and the Origin of Mutation Diversity

Abstract : We determined the spectrum of β‐thalassemia (thal) mutations in 118 affected unrelated patients with different forms of β‐thal. Using a combination of reverse dot–blot analysis, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), polymerase chain reaction/restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR/RFLP) and direct nucleotide sequencing, we identified the largest spectrum of β‐thal mutations so far reported in Tunisia, and to the best of our knowledge, within the Mediterranean Basin. A total of 18 distinct alleles were detected at different frequencies, with two alleles [codon 39 (C→T) and IVS‐I‐110 (G→A)] predominating all others. Seven other alleles [frameshift at codon (FSC) 6 (− A), FSC 8 (− AA), codon 30 (G→C), IVS‐I‐1 (G→A), IVS‐I‐2 (T→G), IVS‐I‐6 (T→C), FSC 44 (− C)] were rare, and nine alleles [− 29 (A→G), IVS‐I‐2 (T→C), IVS‐I‐5 (G→C), IVS‐I‐5 (G→T), IVS‐I‐116 (T→G), codon 37 (G→A), IVS‐II‐1 (G→A), IVS‐II‐745 (G→C) and IVS‐II‐849 (A→C)], albeit described elsewhere, are reported here in Tunisia for the first time. The codon 39 and IVS‐I‐110 mutations were the two predominant alleles occurring at frequencies of 43.8% and 10.8%, respectively. They are presumably the earliest mutations introduced into this country. The codon 39 allele could have been introduced in Tunisia during the Roman occupation. Similarly, the IVS‐I‐110 mutation might have been introduced by the Turkish and Phoenician influence. Both gene flow and private mutations may account for the diversity of alleles observed in Tunisia. These data provide the background for implementing prevention programs based on genetic counseling and prenatal diagnosis.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 3:08:36 PM
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Imen Chouk, Béchir Ben Daoud, Fethi Mellouli, Mohamed Bejaoui, Nathalie Gérard, et al.. Contribution to the Description of the β‐Thalassemia Spectrum in Tunisia and the Origin of Mutation Diversity. Hemoglobin, Informa Healthcare, 2004, 28 (3), pp.189-195. ⟨10.1081/HEM-120040305⟩. ⟨pasteur-02025072⟩



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