Erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP) is an inherited disorder of porphyrin metabolism in which decreased activity of ferrochelatase (FECH) leads to accumulation of protoporphyrin IX (PP IX) in red blood cells, plasma, liver, and bile, and increased PP IX excretion in feces. Clinically, EPP is characterized by photosensitivity that begins in early childhood and includes burning, swelling, itching, and painful erythema in sun-exposed areas. Chronic liver disease is an important complication in a minority of EPP patients, and in some cases liver transplantation has been performed. So far, about 110 different mutations and several polymorphisms have been characterized in the human FECH gene. The relationship between mutations, polymorphisms, and porphyria development in Argentinean patients was investigated. This is the first genetic study carried out in the Argentinean population. In five Argentinean EPP families we detected three novel mutations: a deletion (451delT) producing a stop codon located 18 codons downstream from the mutation and two splicing mutations: IVS1-2A>G leading to exon 2 skipping and IVS4-2A>G, which causes the loss of the first 48 bp of exon 5. We also found two previously described mutations: C343T and 400delA, which produce stop codons. All patients had an FECH activity 25% of normal and also had the polymorphisms -251A>G in the promoter region and IVS1-23 C>T and IVS3-48 T>C. Our findings provide supporting evidence for the concept that the inheritance of the low expression allele IVS3-48C in transwith a mutation in the FECHgene is necessary for EPP to become clinically manifest.,
Molecular Medicine
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Parera, V.E, Koole, R.H, Minderman, G, Edixhoven, A, Rossetti, M.V, Batlle, A, & de Rooij, F.W.M. (2009). Novel null-allele mutations and genotype-phenotype correlation in Argentinean patients with erythropoietic protoporphyria. Molecular Medicine, 15(11-12), 425–431. doi:10.2119/molmed.2009.00006