Determination of Carrier Frequency of Actionable Pathogenic Variants in Autosomal Recessive Genetic Diseases in the Turkish Cypriot Population

Genes (Basel). 2023 Oct 20;14(10):1967. doi: 10.3390/genes14101967.


Whole-exome DNA sequencing is a rich source of clinically useful information for specialists, patients, and their families, as well as elucidating the genetic basis of monogenic and complex diseases in clinical diagnosis. However, interpreting and reporting variants encompassing exome and genome sequence analysis outcome data are one of the greatest challenges of the genomic era. In this study, we aimed to investigate the frequency and allele frequency spectrum of single nucleotide variants accepted as recessive disease carrier status in Turkish Cypriot exomes. The same sequencing platform and data processing line were used for the analysis of data from 100 Turkish Cypriot whole-exome sequence analysis. Identified variants were classified according to ACMG guidelines, and pathogenic variants were confirmed in other databases such as ClinVar, HGMD, Varsome, etc. Pathogenic variants were detected in 68 genes out of 100 whole-exome sequence data. The carriage rate was the highest in the CYP21A2 gene, causing 21-hydroxylase deficiency (14.70%), 11.76% in the HBB gene causing β-thalassemia, 10.29% in the BTD gene causing biotinidase deficiency, 8.82% in the CFTR gene causing cystic fibrosis, 8.82% in the RBM8A gene causing thrombocytopenia-absent radius syndrome, which is an ultra-rare disease, and 5.88% in the GAA gene causing glycogen storage disease II. The carriage of pathogenic variants in other genes causing the disease (GJB2, PAH, GALC, CYP11B2, COL4A3, HBA1, etc.) was determined as less than 5.00%. Also, the identified variations in the mentioned gene within the examined population were reported. The most prevalent mutation in North Cyprus was a missense variant (c.1360 C>T, p.Pro454Ser) detected in the CYP21A2 gene (rs6445), and the most frequently seen variant in the HBB gene was c.93-21G>A (rs35004220). We investigated reported pathogenic variants by estimating the lower and upper limits of carrier and population frequencies for autosomal recessive diseases, for which exome sequencing may reveal additional medically relevant information. Determining the lower and upper limits of these frequencies will shed light on preventive medicine practices and governmental actions.

Keywords: Turkish Cypriot; allele frequency; mendelian disease; whole-exome sequencing.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Hyperplasia, Congenital*
  • Cystic Fibrosis*
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Steroid 21-Hydroxylase


  • CYP21A2 protein, human
  • Steroid 21-Hydroxylase

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.