Background and objectives: Hemophilia B is an X-linked recessive, bleeding disorder caused by mutations in the factor IX gene. A wide range of mutations, showing large molecular heterogeneity, has been described in hemophilia B patients. Our study was aimed at characterizing mutations in the factor IX gene in a cohort of North Indian hemophilia B patients.
Design and methods: Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and direct sequencing of all regions of likely functional significance- the coding regions, promoter, the 5' UTR, the splice junctions and parts of the 3' UTR of the factor IX gene was done in 18 families carrying a severe form of hemophilia B.
Results: We identified 10 point mutations (including 2 novel ones); one novel deletion and one donor splice site mutation. Recurrence of a nonsense and a missense mutation was observed. The mutation in 3 families could not be characterized. None of the 14 polymorphic positions reported in the Haemophilia B Mutation database in the regions sequenced were polymorphic; herein we report four novel synonymous single base mismatches. One mutation reported to be causative in the database was found to be more likely a non-causal polymorphism.
Interpretation and conclusions: Our data confirm the remarkable heterogeneity of the mutational spectrum in hemophilia B among affected families. This is the first mutation report on the disease in the Indo-Aryan population from the Indian subcontinent. Identification of a causative mutation leads to more precise carrier detection than does conventional polymorphism-based linkage analysis. This can effectively be used to establish genotype/ phenotype relationships.