Purpose: We aimed to determine the origin and genetic characteristics of Huntington disease (HD) in the Middle East. Methods: We performed genetic and genealogical analyses to establish the ancestral origin of the HTT pathgenic variant from a large kindred from Oman (hereafter called the OM-HD-01 pedigree) by single-nucleotide polymorphism and dense haplotype analysis genotyping. Results: We traced the oldest ancestry of the largest, eight-generation, OM-HD-01 pedigree (n = 302 subjects, with 54 showing manifest HD) back to sub-Saharan Africa and identified a unique HD haplotype carried by all pedigree members, which consisted of portions of the C6 and C9 haplotypes and was carried by all affected members. Such a unique HD haplotype was of African origin and appeared to be associated with large CAG repeat expansions on average and high frequency of juvenile-onset HD. Three other families from the same area were also identified and found carrying a Caucasian HD haplotype A, also shared by most families of Arab ancestry. Conclusion: Mutated HTT spread into Middle East with a unique haplotype of African origin, appeared to be associated with juvenile-onset, a HD condition frequently occurring in Black Africans, and may have a significant impact on further development of novel targeted genetic therapies.
- haplotype analysis
- Huntington disease
- juvenile-onset Huntington disease
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