alexa Rare alpha-1-antitrypsin variants: are they really so rare?
Genetics & Molecular Biology

Genetics & Molecular Biology

Gene Technology

Author(s): RodriguezFrias F, Miravitlles M, Vidal R, Camos S, Jardi R

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Abstract Alpha-1-antitrypsin (α1-AT) deficiency is mainly evaluated in the diagnostic process of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Around 95\% of individuals with severe α1-AT deficiency carry the PI*ZZ genotype. Little is known about the epidemiology of the remaining deficient α1-AT variants, which are called 'rare' due to their low prevalence. The retrospective revision of 3511 α1-AT deficiency determinations performed in Barcelona from 1998 to 2010 detected 1.6\% of cases with rare α1-AT alleles, a rate similar to those reported in other European studies. Among these variants, PI*I and PI*Mmalton represented 54\% of cases. Hence, the so-called 'rare' α1-AT alleles may not be rare as has been assumed. It would be of interest to implement simple allele-specific molecular biology methods to study the most prevalent rare variants in each region. Augmentation therapy is recommended in patients with emphysema and PI*ZZ genotype, but there is little evidence regarding the implications of rare variants on therapy. This article was published in Ther Adv Respir Dis and referenced in Gene Technology

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