Article

Dissecting a population genome for targeted screening of disease mutations.

Department of Molecular Medicine, National Public Health Institute, Biomedicum, 00250 Helsinki, Finland.
Human Molecular Genetics (Impact Factor: 6.68). 01/2002; 10(26):2961-72.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Compared to mixed populations, population isolates such as Finland show distinct differences in the prevalence of disease mutations. However, little information exists of the differences on the prevalence of different disease alleles in regional populations with different history of multiple bottlenecks. We constructed a DNA-array and monitored the prevalence of 31 rare and common disease mutations underlying 27 clinical phenotypes in a large population-based study sample. Over 64 000 genotypes were assigned in 2151 samples from four geographical areas representing early and late settlement regions of Finland. Each sample was analyzed in duplicate and a total of 142 000 array-derived genotyping calls were made. On average one in three individuals was found to be a carrier of one of the 31 monitored mutations. This should remove fears of the stigmatizing effect of a carrier-screening program monitoring multiple diseases. Regional differences were found in the prevalence of mutations, providing molecular evidence for the deviating population histories of regional subisolates. The mutations introduced early into the population revealed relatively even distribution in different subregions. More recently introduced rare mutations showed local clustering of disease alleles, indicating the persistence of population subisolates and the effect of multiple bottlenecks in molding the population gene pool. Regional differences were observed also for common disease alleles. Such precise information of the carrier frequencies could form the basis for targeted genetic screens in this population. Our approach describes a general paradigm for large-scale carrier-screening programs also in other populations.

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