C283Y gamma-sarcoglycan gene mutation in the Bulgarian Roma (Gypsy) population: prevalence study and carrier screening in a high-risk community

Authors

  • B Georgieva,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Molecular Pathology, University Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sofia Medical University, 2 Zdrave Str., Sofia, Bulgaria,
    2. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Sofia Medical University, 2 Zdrave Str., Sofia, Bulgaria,
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  • A Todorova,

    1. Laboratory of Molecular Pathology, University Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sofia Medical University, 2 Zdrave Str., Sofia, Bulgaria,
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  • I Tournev,

    1. Clinic of Neurology, Alexandrovska Hospital, Sofia Medical University, 1 G. Sofiisky Blvd., Sofia, Bulgaria
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  • V Mitev,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Sofia Medical University, 2 Zdrave Str., Sofia, Bulgaria,
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  • I Kremensky

    1. Laboratory of Molecular Pathology, University Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sofia Medical University, 2 Zdrave Str., Sofia, Bulgaria,
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Bilyana Georgieva Georgieva, Laboratory of Molecular Pathology, University Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sofia Medical University 2 Zdrave Str., 1431 Sofia, Bulgaria
Tel.: +359 2 9172 473;
fax: +359 2 9172 469;
e-mail: gueorguievab@yahoo.com

Abstract

Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2C (LGMD2C) is caused by mutations in the gamma-sarcoglycan gene where a founder Gypsy mutation C283Y was detected. The Bulgarian Gypsy LGMD2C patients, as the Gypsy patients from other countries, were found to be homozygous for this mutation. Considering the large number of Gypsies in Bulgaria and the high percent of consanguinity and endogamy a raised carrier frequency of the C283Y mutation was expected especially in North-Eastern Bulgaria where most of the patients originate from. Here, we present the precise geographic distribution of the C283Y mutation in the general Roma population from the whole Bulgarian territory by determining the carrier frequency of the mutation in dry blood newborn samples. Our results show that the geographic distribution of this founder mutation and the disease are not geographically restricted only among Gypsies from North-Eastern Bulgaria. We stress upon the regions with detected high carrier and/or disease frequency and upon the results from the performed carrier screening on volunteers in one of these regions. The ongoing carrier-screening programs in isolated Gypsy groups would be of a great benefit for the genetic prophylaxis of the disease. Such regions should be with priority in the Bulgarian healthcare system for performing a carrier-screening program.

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