We used the single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) method to investigate 36 apparently unrelated Spanish patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) for mutations in the promoter region and the 18 exons and their flanking intron sequences of the low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) gene. Nineteen aberrant SSCP patterns were found, and the underlying mutations were characterized by DNA sequencing. In addition, we tested all patients for the presence of mutations in the gene coding for apolipoprotein B (apo B). Five missense mutations (Q71E, S156L, E256K, N543H and T705I), four nonsense mutations (W(-18)X, E10X, Q133X and C255X), six frameshift mutations (211delG, 518delG, 1045delC, 2085del19, 2207insT and 2393del9) and five splicing mutations (313+1G->C, 1061-8T->C, 1845+1G->C, 2140+5G->A and 2390-1G->C) were identified in the LDLR gene. In total, we detected 20 mutations, 3 of which, designated 1045delC, 1845+1G->C and 2207insT, have not been previously described. Seven patients were found to carry two different mutations in the same allele: W(-18)X and E256K (one patient), Q71E and 313+1G->C (two patients), 1061-8T->C and T705I (two patients), 518delG and 2140+5G->A (one patient) and N543H and 2393del9 (one patient). As we expected, there is a broad spectrum of mutations in the LDLR gene, given the genetic heterogeneity of the Spanish population.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.