Phenotype-genotype correlation in haemochromatosis subjects

Hum Genet. 1997 Dec;101(3):271-6. doi: 10.1007/s004390050628.


Haemochromatosis is a common autosomal recessive genetic disorder of iron metabolism. A candidate gene was recently identified (HLA-H) and two amino acid substitutions (C282Y and H63D) were characterized. Haemochromatosis probands (n = 478) from Brittany were selected from their iron status markers, primarily serum iron, serum ferritin and transferrin saturation. We investigated the relationships between haemochromatosis phenotype and genotypes at the HLA-H locus and surrounding markers. As already reported, we observed that the C282Y substitution is unambiguously associated with the haemochromatosis phenotype, haemochromatosis patients homozygous for the substitution (Tyr/Tyr) accounting for 81.2% of all haemochromatosis patients. A clear heterogeneity in serum ferritin and transferrin saturation values, and in iron removed by phlebotomy was observed among haemochromatosis patients that is correlated with the presence of two subgroups of individuals homozygous and non-homozygous for the mutant allele C282Y, the latter being characterized by lower phenotypic values. In this subgroup, sequencing did not reveal any other mutation in the HLA-H gene, hence the genotype remained unclear. Thus, an additional non-genetic cause, other mutations or another gene can not be excluded as explanations for the results in these patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Ferritins / blood
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Heterogeneity
  • Genotype
  • HLA Antigens / genetics*
  • Hemochromatosis / diagnosis
  • Hemochromatosis / genetics*
  • Hemochromatosis Protein
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Iron / blood
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins*
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype


  • HFE protein, human
  • HLA Antigens
  • Hemochromatosis Protein
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Ferritins
  • Iron