Characterization of the molecular defect in the ATP7B gene in Wilson disease patients from Yugoslavia

Genet Test. Summer 2003;7(2):107-12. doi: 10.1089/109065703322146786.


Wilson disease (WD) is an autosomal recessive disorder of copper metabolism resulting from the absence or dysfunction of a copper transporting P-type ATPase (ATP7B). Approximately 150 mutations of the ATP7B have been identified to date. In this paper, we report the results of molecular characterization and genotype-phenotype analysis, which we have carried out on 35 patients from Yugoslavia affected by WD. Using single-strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP) followed by direct sequencing, we characterized the molecular defect in 80% of WD chromosomes and found 11 different mutations, three of which are novel. The most common mutations that accounted for the molecular defect in 71.3% of WD chromosomes were H1069Q (48.9%), 2304-2305insC (11.4%), R616Q (5.7%), and A1003T (5.7%). The results produced in this paper indicate that the best strategy for mutation detection in Yugoslavian patients with WD is an SSCP analysis of exons 14, 8, 5, and 13, where most of the defects (73.1%) lie, followed by mutation analysis of the remaining exons in ATP7B in patients in whom the mutation was not detected by the finitial screening. These data can be used to develop straightforward genetic testing in this population or in other countries composed of a genetically mixed population like the United States, where a significant number of immigrants came from Central and Eastern Europe.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / deficiency*
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / genetics*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cation Transport Proteins / deficiency*
  • Cation Transport Proteins / genetics*
  • Child
  • Copper-Transporting ATPases
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Hepatolenticular Degeneration / enzymology*
  • Hepatolenticular Degeneration / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mutation*
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Single-Stranded Conformational
  • Yugoslavia


  • Cation Transport Proteins
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases
  • ATP7B protein, human
  • Copper-Transporting ATPases