Genetic heterogeneity of megaloblastic anaemia type 1 in Tunisian patients

J Hum Genet. 2007;52(3):262-270. doi: 10.1007/s10038-007-0110-0. Epub 2007 Feb 7.


Megaloblastic anaemia 1 (MGA1) is a rare autosomal recessive condition characterized by selective intestinal vitamin B12 malabsorption and proteinuria. More than 200 MGA1 patients have been identified worldwide, but the disease is relatively prevalent in Finland, Norway and several Eastern Mediterranean regions. MGA1 is genetically heterogeneous and can be caused by mutations in either the cubilin (CUBN) or the amnionless (AMN) gene. In the present study we investigated the molecular defect underlying MGA1 in nine Tunisian patients belonging to six unrelated consanguineous families. Haplotype and linkage analyses, using microsatellite markers surrounding both CUBN and AMN genes, indicated that four out of the six families were likely to be linked to the CUBN gene. Patients from these families were screened for the Finnish, Mediterranean and Arabian mutations already published. None of the screened mutations could be detected in our population. One family showed a linkage to AMN gene. Direct screening of the AMN gene allowed the identification of the c.208-2A>G mutation, previously described in a Jewish Israeli patient of Tunisian origin and in Turkish patients. This suggests that the c.208-2A>G mutation may derive from a single Mediterranean founder ancestor. For the last family, haplotype analysis excluded both CUBN and AMN genes, suggesting the existence of a third locus that may cause MGA1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anemia, Megaloblastic / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Child
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Female
  • Genetic Heterogeneity*
  • Genetic Markers
  • Haplotypes / genetics
  • Humans
  • Lod Score
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Pedigree
  • Tunisia


  • Genetic Markers