Refining the position of Wilson disease by linkage disequilibrium with polymorphic microsatellites

A. M. Bowcock, J. Tomfohrde, J. Weissenbach, B. Bonne-Tamir, P. St George-Hyslop, M. Giagheddu, L. L. Cavalli-Sforza, L. A. Farrer

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27 Scopus citations


Wilson disease (WND) is an autosomal recessive disorder that is due to an inability of the liver to eliminate copper. Copper buildup in the liver, brain, kidney, and other tissues can result in liver cirrhosis, neurologic and psychiatric defects, and other problems. We have localized the disease- containing region to between D13S31 and D13S59, with >70 multiply affected families, and have constructed a YAC contig of >4.5 Mb that spans these loci and orders nine highly polymorphic microsatellites. Here we present an analysis of disequilibrium with markers in this interval and provide evidence for strong allelic associations between AFM084xc5 alleles and WND alleles in European, Middle Eastern, and East Asian populations. Significant but weaker allelic associations were also observed between WND alleles and alleles at D13S137 and D13S169. The strength of the association between AFM084xc5 and WND in all non-Sardinian populations combined (linkage-disequilibrium coefficient [Φ] = .61) suggests that the number of mutations accounting for WND is less than expected on the basis of the variety of clinical symptoms that are observed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-87
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1994
Externally publishedYes


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