Genotype-phenotype correlations in a mountain population community with high prevalence of Wilson's disease

Wilson's disease is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by more than 500 mutations in ATP7B gene presenting considerably clinical manifestations heterogeneity even in patients with a particular mutation. Previous findings suggested a potential role of additional genetic modifiers and environment factors on phenotypic expression among the affected patients. We conducted clinical and genetic investigations to perform genotype-phenotype correlation in two large families living in a socio-culturally isolated community with the highest prevalence of Wilson's disease ever reported of 1:1130. Sequencing of ATP7B gene in seven affected individuals and 43 family members identified a common compound heterozygous genotype, H1069Q/M769H-fs, in five symptomatic and two asymptomatic patients and detected the presence of two out of seven identified single nucleotide polymorphisms in all affected patients. Symptomatic patients had similar clinical phenotype and age at onset (18±1 years) showing dysarthria and dysphagia as common clinical features at the time of diagnosis. Moreover, all symptomatic patients presented Kayser-Fleischer rings and lack of dystonia accompanied by unfavourable clinical outcomes. Our findings add value for understanding of genotype-phenotype correlations in Wilson's disease based on a multifamily study in an isolated population with high extent of genetic and environmental homogeneity as opposed to majority of reports. We observed an equal influence of presumed other genetic modifiers and environmental factors on clinical presentation and age at onset of Wilson's disease in patients with a particular genotype. These data provide valuable inferences that could be applied for predicting clinical management in asymptomatic patients in such communities.

Publication:PLoS ONE 9(7): e102619. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102619
Published: 2014
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