The factor IX gene (F9) is an advantageous system for analyzing recent spontaneous germline mutation in humans. Herein, the male:female ratio of mutation ('r') in F9 have been estimated by Bayesian analysis from 59 germline origin families. The overall 'r' in F9 was estimated at 3.75. The 'r's varied with the type of mutation. The 'r's ranged from 6.65 and 6.10 for transitions at CpG and A:T to G:C transitions at non-CpG dinucleotides, respectively, to 0.57 and 0.42 for microdeletions/microinsertions and large deletions (> 1 kb), respectively. The 'r' for the two subtypes of non-CpG transitions differed (6.10 for A:T to G:C vs 0.80 for G:C to A:T). Somatic mosaicism was detected in 11% of the 45 origin individuals for whom the causative mutation was visualized directly by genomic sequencing of leukocyte DNA (estimated sensitivity of approximately one part in 20). Four of the five defined somatic mosaics had G:C to A:T transitions at non-CpG dinucleotides, hinting that this mutation subtype may occur commonly early in embryogenesis. The age at conception was analyzed for 41 US Caucasian families in which the age of the origin parent and the year of conception for the first carrier/hemophiliac were available. No evidence for a paternal age effect was seen. However, an advanced maternal age effect was observed (P = 0.03) and was particularly prominent for transversions (average of the 79th percentile when maternal was normalized for the year of conception). This suggests that an increased maternal age results in a higher rate of transmitted mutation, whereas the increased number of mitotic replications associated with advanced paternal age has little, if any, effect on the rate of transmitted mutation.
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