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Journal of Applied Genetics 49(4), 2008, pp. 407-414

APC gene mutations causing familial adenomatous polyposis in Polish patients

Andrzej Plawski, Ryszard Slomski

Abstract: Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is a well-known hereditary condition characterised by alimentary system tumours. Tens to thousands of polyps occur in the colon and rectum of the patients. There is a high heterogeneity with regard to the number and time of the occurrence of polyps. The occurrence of FAP is associated with mutations in the APC tumour suppressor gene, which was described in 1991. Since then, many studies have been done to analyse the distribution of mutations in individual populations and to determine the function of the gene and a diagnostic approach to FAP. Here the APC gene was studied with respect to the occurrence of small mutations and large rearrangements in 300 unrelated Polish FAP families. Ninety-seven mutations were identified in 164 families. Out of these mutations, 80 were small mutations, including 58 small mutations that were first identified in the Polish population (42 novel and 16 described previously). An increased frequency of mutation c.3927_3931delAAAGA was observed in 10% of the Polish group. Seventeen large rearrangements were found in 29 families. Out of those rearrangements, 8 repeat rearrangements occurred in 20 families. A problem in fast molecular diagnostics of FAP is a high heterogeneity of mutations in the APC gene. It seems that a multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification test and searching for small mutations by the use of screening methods at the 5' end of exon 15 and exons 14, 9, 11, 13, 5, and 3, help to improve the molecular diagnostics of FAP in Polish patients.

Key words: FAP, APC gene, colorectal cancer, familial adenomatous polyposis, multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification

Correspondence: A. Plawski, Institute of Human Genetics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Strzeszynska 32, 60-479 Poznan, Poland; email:

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