The frequencies of the ΔF508 deletion, the most common cystic fibrosis mutation in Europeans and European-derived populations, and the XV2C and KM19 restriction fragment length polymorphisms that are tightly linked to the CFTR locus vary among populations. To determine the distribution of these extragenic markers and of the ΔF508 mutation, we analyzed 326 chromosomes of individuals from two South American Indian populations, the Guarani and the Kaingang. The allele and haplotype frequencies differed greatly between the two populations as well as among Amerindians and normal European Brazilians and European Brazilian cystic fibrosis patients. The absence of the ΔF508 mutation and the B haplotype are in agreement with the hypothesis that the ΔF508 mutation occurred after the divergence of these two populations. This finding is useful for populations containing a large Amerindian component and helps us to understand the origins of the ΔF508 deletion, the most common cystic fibrosis mutation in Europeans and European-derived populations, as well as the different incidences of cystic fibrosis in continental groups.
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Vol. 79 • No. 1