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Frequency of Thermostability Variants: Estimation of Total ``Rare'' Variant frequency in Human Populations

H. W. Mohrenweiser and J. V. Neel
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 78, No. 9, [Part 2: Biological Sciences] (Sep., 1981), pp. 5729-5733
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/11541
Page Count: 5
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Frequency of Thermostability Variants: Estimation of Total ``Rare'' Variant frequency in Human Populations
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Abstract

Eight erythrocyte enzymes were examined for thermostability in an unselected sample of 100 newborn infants. Three thermolabile variants, one each of lactate dehydrogenase, glucosephosphate isomerase, and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, were identified, none of which was detectable as a variant by standard electrophoretic techniques. All were inherited. This frequency of 3.8 heritable thermostability variants per 1000 determinations is to be compared with a frequency of electrophoretically detectable variants of 1.1 per 1000 determinations, a frequency of 2.4 enzyme-deficiency variants per 1000 determinations, and a frequency of 1.1 hypo/hyperactive enzyme-activity variants per 1000 determinations in this human newborn population. The total measured frequency of individuals with rare enzyme deficiency or electrophoretic or thermostability (or both) variants at these loci is 8.4 per 1000 determinations. A similar distribution and frequency is seen when the comparison is limited to the seven loci studied by all techniques. It is clear that not all of the electrophoretic and thermostability variants present in the population are detected by the techniques used in this study. Accordingly, it is estimated that the true frequency of carriers of a rare variant for each of these enzyme-coding loci averages greater than 10/1000. Some implications of these frequencies for human disease are discussed.

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