A panel of five multiallelic and highly informative dinucleotide CA repeat markers flanking the APC gene was used for presymptomatic diagnosis of familial adenomatous polyposis coli (FAP). Marker regions were amplified by PCR. DNA fragments were separated by electrophoresis in denaturing polyacrylamide gels and visualised by ethidium bromide staining. Two or more markers were found to be informative in all nine families tested, and all 23 persons at risk could be diagnosed as affected or unaffected by the disease gene, the probability being > 99.9% in 14 cases from six families in which flanking markers were informative. We found no indication for locus heterogeneity of the disease in our sample. The polyposis phenotype and its extracolonic manifestations co-segregated with a distinct haplotype determined by the markers flanking the APC gene. In one family with no remaining living affected members, we could infer the high risk haplotype from genotyping of first degree relatives. The segregation of this haplotype is consistent with the occurrence of CHRPEs in the progeny. In a sporadic case we made use of the typical early extracolonic manifestations of the disease (osteomas, desmoids) to identify the high risk haplotype. We conclude from our experience that indirect genotyping of FAP with this particular panel of closely linked and highly polymorphic microsatellite markers is a rapid, efficient, and highly reliable method for presymptomatic diagnosis of FAP.
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