Mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene cause cystic fibrosis (CF), a common autosomal recessive disease in Caucasians. The broad mutation spectrum varies among different patient groups. Current molecular diagnoses are designed to detect 80-97% of CF chromosomes in Caucasians and Ashkenazi Jews but have a much lower detection rate in Hispanic CF patients. Grebe et al.  reported a 58% detection rate in Hispanic patients. Since then, there has been no large-scale, complete mutational analysis of Hispanic CF patients. In this study, the mutations in 62 Hispanic patients from southern California were investigated. The entire coding and flanking intronic regions of the CFTR gene were analyzed by temporal temperature gradient gel electrophoresis (TTGE) followed by sequencing to identify the mutations. Eleven novel mutations were discovered in this patient group: 3876delA, 406-1G>A, 935delA, 663delT, 3271delGG, 2105-2117del13insAGAAA, 3199del6, Q179K, 2108delA, 3171delC, and 3500-2A>T. Among the mutations, seven were out-of-frame insertions and deletions that result in truncated proteins, two were splice-site mutations, one was an in-frame 6 bp deletion, and one was a missense mutation that involved the non-conservative change of glutamine-179 to lysine. All patients presented severe classical clinical course with pancreatic insufficiency and poor growth, consistent with the nature of truncation mutation. The results indicate that TTGE screening following the analysis of recurrent mutations will substantially improve the mutation detection rate for Hispanic CF patients from southern California.
Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.