To better understand the pathogenetics of pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE), we performed a mutational analysis of ATP-binding cassette subfamily C member 6 (ABCC6) in 122 unrelated patients with PXE, the largest cohort of patients yet studied. Thirty-six mutations were characterized, and, among these, 28 were novel variants (for a total of 43 PXE mutations known to date). Twenty-one alleles were missense variants, six were small insertions or deletions, five were nonsense, two were alleles likely to result in aberrant mRNA splicing, and two were large deletions involving ABCC6. Although most mutations appeared to be unique variants, two disease-causing alleles occurred frequently in apparently unrelated individuals. R1141X was found in our patient cohort at a frequency of 18.8% and was preponderant in European patients. ABCC6de123-29 occurred at a frequency of 12.9% and was prevalent in patients from the United States. These results suggested that R1141X and ABCC6del23-29 might have been derived regionally from founder alleles. Putative disease-causing mutations were identified in ∼64% of the 244 chromosomes studied, and 85.2% of the 122 patients were found to have at least one disease-causing allele. Our results suggest that a fraction of the undetected mutant alleles could be either genomic rearrangements or mutations occurring in noncoding regions of the ABCC6 gene. The distribution pattern of ABCC6 mutations revealed a cluster of disease-causing variants within exons encoding a large C-terminal cytoplasmic loop and in the C-terminal nucleotide-binding domain (NBD2). We discuss the potential structural and functional significance of this mutation pattern within the context of the complex relationship between the PXE phenotype and the function of ABCC6.
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