MEFV alterations and population genetics analysis in a large cohort of Greek patients with familial Mediterranean fever


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Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is a disease characterized by recurrent, self-limiting bouts of fever and serositis and caused by altered pyrin due to mutated MEFV gene. FMF is common in the Mediterranean Basin populations, although with varying genetic patterns. The spectrum and clinical significance of MEFV alterations in Greece has yet not been elucidated. The aim of this study was to analyze the spectrum of MEFV alterations in FMF patients and healthy individuals in Greece. A cohort of 152 Greek FMF patients along with 140 Greek healthy controls was enrolled. Non-isotopic RNase cleavage assay (NIRCA) and sequencing allowed mutational and haplotypic analysis of the entire coding sequence of MEFV. The arlequin 2.0, dnasp 4.0 and phylip software were used for population genetics analysis. Among patients, 127 (83.6%) carried at least one known mutation. The most common mutations identified were M694V (38.1%), M680I (19.7%), V726A (12.2%), E148Q (10.9%) and E230K (6.1%). The total carrier rate among healthy individuals was 0.7%. The presence of R202Q homozygosity in 12 of the remaining 25 MEFV negative FMF patients might be considered as disease related in Greeks. Population genetics analysis revealed that Greeks rely closer to the eastern rather than western populations of the Mediterranean Basin.