- 1Department of Pediatrics, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe, Japan.
Background: Wilson disease (WD) is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in the ATP7B gene. In 1984, Scheinberg and Sternlieb estimated the prevalence of WD to be 1:30 000. However, recent epidemiological studies have reported increasing prevalence rates in different populations. The carrier frequency of ATP7B variants and the prevalence of WD in the Japanese population have not been reported using multiple databases.
Methods: Multiple public databases were used. First, we included mutations in the ATP7B gene that were registered in the Human Gene Mutation Database (HGMD) Professional, where 885 ATP7B variants were identified as pathogenic. Next, we investigated the allele frequencies of these 885 variants in Japanese individuals using the Human Genetic Variation Database (HGVD) and the Japanese Multi Omics Reference Panel (jMorp).
Results: Of the 885 variants of ATP7B, 7 and 12 missense and nonsense variants, zero and three splicing variants, and zero and two small deletions were found in the HGVD and in jMorp, respectively. The total allele frequencies of the ATP7B mutations were 0.011 in the HGVD and 0.014 in the jMorp. According to these data, the carrier frequencies were 0.022 (2.2%) and 0.028 (2.8%), respectively, and patient frequencies were 0.000121 (1.21/10 000 individuals) and 0.000196 (1.96/10 000 individuals), respectively.
Conclusions: This is the first study to report the carrier frequency of ATP7B variants and the prevalence of WD in Japan using multiple databases. The calculated prevalence of WD was comparatively higher than that of previous reports, indicating previous underdiagnosis or the existence of less severe phenotypes.