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Molecular heterogeneity at the phenylalanine hydroxylase locus in the population of the south-west of England.
  1. L A Tyfield,
  2. M J Osborn,
  3. J B Holton
  1. Department of Clinical Chemistry, Southmead Hospital, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol.


    The phenylalanine hydroxylase gene locus has been studied in 35 independent phenylketonuric families in the south-west of England using RFLP haplotype patterns and allele specific oligonucleotide probes. Haplotype 3 was the most common pattern on mutant chromosomes and there was strict linkage disequilibrium between this haplotype and the splice mutation in exon 12. The R408W mutation in exon 12 occurred on both haplotypes 1 and 2. The R126Q mutation in exon 7 was found only on a rare haplotype 28 pattern. No gene carried the R158Q mutation. More than 60% of mutant genes did not carry these four mutations which were originally described in other European populations. We suggest that the splice mutation arose as a single event and spread throughout northern Europe by population migration and admixture. In addition, we believe the haplotype/mutation associations seen in our population are a reflection of the mixed ancestry of the inhabitants of the British Isles.

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