Frequency of the Hemochromatosis Gene (HFE) Variants in a Jordanian Arab Population and in Diabetics from the Same Region
Hereditary HFE-linked hemochromatosis is a frequent recessive disorder among individuals of northern European ancestry. The clinical characteristic of this disease is the gradual accumulation of iron in internal organs, which ultimately may lead to organ damage and death. Three allelic variants of HFE gene have been correlated with hereditary hemochromatosis: C282Y is significantly associated with hereditary hemochromatosis in populations of Celtic origin, H63D and S65C are associated with milder form of iron overload. In this study we performed mutation analysis to identify allele frequency of the three variants of HFE gene in Jordanian Arab population, to assess deviations of these frequencies from those detected elsewhere, and to determine if there is an increased frequency of these variants in a diabetic population (Type 2 diabetes) from the same area. DNA was extracted from blood samples of 440 individuals attending King Abdullah University Hospital for ambulatory services. We used polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify exons 2 and 4 of the HFE gene then restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) method to detect the variants. There were neither homozygous nor heterozygous for C282Y variant. For the H63D variant, 0.68% were homozygous and 21.1% were heterozygous. For the S65C variant, there were no homozygous and 0.23% were heterozygous. Allelic frequencies were, 0%, 11.25%, and 0.11% for C282Y, H63D, and S65C, respectively. Our samples were subdivided into two categories of type 2 diabetic (89 cases) and controls (blood donors, 204 cases) and compared with regard to the H63D variant. Both groups did not have homozygous H63D variant. H63D heterozygous in diabetics were 23.60% and in blood donor controls 22.55%. Allelic frequency of the mutant H63D allele was 11.80% in diabetics and 11.27% for the blood donor controls. This is the first study to show the frequency of the three hemochromatosis gene variants in Jordan with the interesting finding of no C282Y allele detected in 440 samples. Additionally, no significant difference was observed in H63D variant frequency in type 2 diabetics as compared to controls.