The Rise of the GRN C157KfsX97 Mutation in Southern Italy: Going Back to the Fall of the Western Roman Empire

Cinzia Coppola, Dario Saracino, Mariano Oliva, Gianfranco Puoti, Giacomo Lus, Isabelle Le Ber, Jérémie Pariente, Alessandro Tessitore, Luisa Benussi, Roberta Ghidoni, Matteo Carrara, Martina Ricci, Veronica Redaelli, Pietro Tiraboschi, Paola Caroppo, Giorgio Giaccone, Simona Bonavita, Giacomina Rossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) designates a group of neurodegenerative diseases with remarkable clinical, pathological, and genetic heterogeneity. Mutations in progranulin gene (GRN) are among the most common causes of familial FTLD. The GRN C157KfsX97 mutation is the most frequent mutation occurring in Southern Italy and has been already described in a previous work. Objective: In this study, we reported on additional cases carrying the same mutation and performed a genetic study on the whole cohort, aiming at demonstrating the existence of a founder effect and estimating the age of this mutation. Methods/Results: Based on the haplotype sharing analysis, a founder effect was highly probable, while the age of the mutation, estimated by means of DMLE+ software, resulted in a range between 52 and 82 generations, with the highest frequency at about 62 generations, 1,550 years ago. Conclusion: This is the first study that reports the age estimation of the most recent common ancestor for the GRN C157KfsX97 mutation recurring in Southern Italy. Mutation dating in a geographically restricted population may be useful in order to plan genetic counseling and screening programs in the field of public health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-394
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Common founder
  • frontotemporal lobar degeneration
  • GRN
  • haplotype
  • mutation
  • mutation dating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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