Spectrum of genetic variation at the ABCC6 locus in South Africans: Pseudoxanthoma elasticum patients and healthy individuals

Michèle Ramsay*, Tarryn Greenberg, Zane Lombard, Robyn Labrum, Steven Lubbe, Shaun Aron, Anna Susan Marais, Sharon Terry, Lionel Bercovitch, Denis Viljoen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is an autosomal recessive metabolic disorder with ectopic mineralization in the skin, eyes and cardiovascular system. PXE is caused by mutations in ABCC6. Objective: To examine 54 unrelated South African PXE patients for ABCC6 PXE causing mutations. Methods: Patients were screened for mutations in ABCC6 using two strategies. The first involved a comprehensive screening of all the ABCC6 exons and flanking regions by dHPLC or sequencing whereas the second involved screening patients only for the common PXE mutations. The ABCC6 gene was screened in ten white and ten black healthy unrelated South Africans in order to examine the level of common non-PXE associated variation. Results: The Afrikaner founder mutation, R1339C, was present in 0.41 of white ABCC6 PXE alleles, confirming the founder effect and its presence in both Afrikaans- (34/63 PXE alleles) and English-speakers (4/28). Eleven mutations were detected in the white patients (of European origin), including two nonsense mutations, 6 missense mutations, two frameshift mutations and a large deletion mutation. The five "Coloured" patients (of mixed Khoisan, Malay, European and African origin) included three compound heterozygotes with R1339C as one of the mutations. The three black patients (sub-Saharan African origin) were all apparent homozygotes for the R1314W mutation. Blacks showed a trend towards a higher degree of neurtral variation (18 variants) when compared to whites (12 variants). Conclusion: Delineation of the ABCC6 mutation profile in South African PXE patients will be used as a guide for molecular genetic testing in a clinical setting and for genetic counselling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-204
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Dermatological Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • ABCC6
  • Pseudoxanthoma elasticum
  • South Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology


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