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Keywords:

  • Cockayne syndrome;
  • DNA repair mechanism;
  • genetic screening;
  • founder mutation

Abstract

Most autosomal recessive diseases are rare in the general population, but in genetically isolated communities specific condition might be frequent, mainly due to founder effect. Recognition of common inherited disorders in defined populations may be effective in improving public health care. Cockayne syndrome (CS) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder common in Christian Arabs due to a p.Tyr322X mutation. Genetic screening of the p.Tyr322X mutation of the ERCC8 gene in this population documented a carrier frequency of 6.79% (95% confidence interval: 3.84–9.74%). The haplotype analysis data, as well as the high carriers frequency of CS, suggested that the Israeli Arab Christian CS mutation (p.Tyr322X) is an ancient founder mutation that may have originated in the Christian Lebanese community. As a result of this pilot study the Christian CS mutation was included in the genetic screening program offered to the Israeli Arab Christian community. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.