By direct genomic sequencing, we have delineated the causative mutation in 64 families of European descent with hemophilia B. Six (9%) had a C→T transition at base 31008, which substitutes methionine for threonine 296 (T296→M) in the catalytic domain of factor IX. Five of the patients had the same haplotype (frequency of 16% in the northern European population). These individuals are of Amish/German descent and they are likely to share a common ancestor. The sixth patient had a different haplotype, which indicates that his mutation had an independent origin. The data highlight the importance of clinical criteria for the classification of hemophilia B. All six patients had clinically mild disease and their factor IX coagulant activities were in the range of 3%-6% when tested simultaneously in one laboratory, yet the factor IX activities provided with patient records varied 40-fold. Due to the high frequency of this mutation, we have utilized the technique of polymerase chain reaction amplification of specific alleles (PASA) to perform rapid and inexpensive carrier diagnoses in the families with this mutation. This is of particular importance for the Amish since the mutation should account for much of, if not all, the mild hemophilia B that is commonly found in this population.
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