Polymorphic DNA haplotypes at the phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) locus in European families with phenylketonuria (PKU)

S. P. Daiger, R. Chakarborty, L. Reed, G. Fekete, D. Schuler, G. Berenssi, I. Nasz, R. Brdicka, J. Kamaryt, A. Pijackova, S. Moore, S. Sullivan, S. L.C. Woo

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DNA haplotype data from the phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) locus are available from a number of European populations as a result of RFLP testing for genetic counseling in families with phenylketonuria (PKU). We have analyzed data from Hungary and Czechoslovakia together with published data from five additional countries - Denmark, Switzerland, Scotland, Germany, and France - representing a broad geographic and ethnographic range. The data include 686 complete chromosomal haplotypes for eight RFLP sites assayed in 202 unrelated Caucasian families with PKU. Forty-six distinct RFLP haplotypes have been observed to date, 10 unique to PKU-bearing chromosomes, 12 unique to non-PKU chromosomes, and the remainder found in association with both types. Despite the large number of haplotypes observed (still much less than the theoretical maximum of 384), five haplotypes alone account for more than 76% of normal European chromosomes and four haplotypes alone account for more than 80% of PKU-bearing chromosomes. We evaluated the distribution of haplotypes and alleles within these populations and calculated pairwise disequilibrium values between RFLP sites and between these sites and a hypothetical PKU 'locus'. There are statistically significant differences between European populations in the frequencies of non-PKU chromosomal haplotypes (P = .025) and PKU chromosomal haplotypes (P < < .001). Haplotype frequencies of the PKU and non-PKU chromosomes also differ significantly (P < < .001). Disequilibrium values are consistent with the PAH physical map and support the molecular evidence for multiple, independent PKU mutations in Caucasians. However, the data do not support a single geographic origin for these mutations. Within these European populations a parent carrying a PKU mutation has an average probability of greater than 86% of being heterozygous - and hence informative for linkage - at one or more PAH RFLP sites. Thus these RFLP alleles and haplotypes provide an effective tool for linkage diagnosis of disease and carrier status in PKU families.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-318
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1989


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

Cite this

Daiger, S. P., Chakarborty, R., Reed, L., Fekete, G., Schuler, D., Berenssi, G., Nasz, I., Brdicka, R., Kamaryt, J., Pijackova, A., Moore, S., Sullivan, S., & Woo, S. L. C. (1989). Polymorphic DNA haplotypes at the phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) locus in European families with phenylketonuria (PKU). American Journal of Human Genetics, 45(2), 310-318.