Background Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a common metabolic disorder with great burden if left untreated or undiagnosed. Genetic variations in the phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) gene may be widely varied across different regions of a country. By knowing the most common mutations, diagnostic work-ups will be offered sooner and with lower costs for patients. The present study defines the most common genetic variations in the PAH gene in Khorasan province of Iran. Methods The present cross-sectional study took place in Khorasan province of Iran within a 6-year period starting from 2012 to 2018. Every patient who had been referred as suspicious PKU cases or referred for prenatal diagnosis was included in the present study. Results A total number of 122 individuals with a mean age of 26.22 years were enrolled in the present study. The most frequent genetic variations in the PAH gene were c.1066-11G > A and c.143 T > C. Exon 7 carried the most genetic variations compared to any single exon. Also, three patients had compound heterozygous status for c.727 C > T/c.1066-11 G > A in exon 7 and 11 of the PAH gene. Conclusions Mutations in the PAH gene are widely varied among different populations, and our results confirmed this fact. Determination of the most prevalent mutations and polymorphisms in each region will reduce the time and cost of diagnosing such preventable diseases and will therefore reduce the disease burden.
Keywords: mutation; phenylalanine hydroxylase; phenylketonuria; polymorphism.