Haemophilia A (HA) is caused by widespread mutations in the factor VIII gene. The high spontaneous mutation rate of this gene means that roughly 40% of HA mutations are private. This study aimed to describe the approaches used to confirm private disease-causing mutations in a cohort of Belgian HA patients. We studied 148 unrelated HA families for the presence of intron 22 and intron 1 inversion by Southern blotting and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) assay was used to detect large genomic rearrangements. Detection of point mutations was performed by DNA sequencing. Predicting the causal impact of new non-synonymous changes was studied by two general strategies: (i) molecular approaches such as family cosegregation, evaluation of the implicated codon based on phylogenic separated species and absence of the mutation in the general Belgian population, and (ii) bioinformatics approaches to analyse the potential functional consequences of missense mutations. Among the 148 HA patients, in addition to common intron 22 and intron 1 inversions as well as large deletions or duplications, 67 different point mutations were identified, of which 42 had been reported in the HAMSTeRS database, and 25 were novel including 10 null variants for which RNA analyses confirmed the causal effect of mutations located in a splice site consensus and 15 missense mutations whose causality was demonstrated by molecular approaches and bioinformatics. This article reports several strategies to evaluate the deleterious consequences of unreported F8 substitutions in a large cohort of HA patients.
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.