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1.  1Novel MEFV transcripts in Familial Mediterranean fever patients and controls 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:87.
Familial Mediterranean fever is a recessive autoinflammatory disease frequently encountered in Armenians, Jews, Arabs and Turks. The MEFV gene is responsible for the disease. It encodes a protein called pyrin/marenostrin involved in the innate immune system. A large number of clinically diagnosed FMF patients carry only one MEFV mutation. This study aims at studying the MEFV gene splicing pattern in heterozygous FMF patients and healthy individuals, in an attempt to understand the mechanism underlying the disease in these patients.
RNA was extracted from peripheral blood leucocytes of 41 FMF patients and 34 healthy individuals. RT-PCR was then performed, and the amplified products were migrated on a polyacrylamide electrophoresis gel, characterized by gel extraction of the corresponding bands followed by sequencing.
Five novel splicing events were observed in both patients and controls deleting either exons 3, 4 (del34), or exons 2, 3, 4 (del234), or exons 2, 3, 4, 5 (del2345) or exon7 (del7) or exons 7 and 8 (del78).
The observation of such qualitative variability in the expression of the MEFV gene suggests a complex transcriptional regulation. However, the expression of these novel transcripts in both patients and controls is not in favour of a severe pathogenic effect.
PMCID: PMC2894788  PMID: 20534143
2.  Amyloidosis in familial Mediterranean fever patients: correlation with MEFV genotype and SAA1 and MICA polymorphisms effects 
Familial mediterranean fever (FMF) is a recessively inherited disease characterized by recurrent crises of fever, abdominal, articular and/or thoracic pain. The most severe complication is the development of renal amyloidosis. Over 35 mutations have been discovered so far in the gene responsible for the disease, MEFV. This article aims at determining a correlation between the MEFV genotype and the occurence of amyloidosis in FMF patients, in addition to the study of the modifying effects of the SAA1 (type 1 serum amyloid A protein) and MICA (Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) class-I-chain-related gene A) genes on this severe complication.
Fourteen MEFV mutations were screened and the SAA1 and MICA polymorphisms tested in 30 FMF patients with amyloidosis and 40 FMF patients without amyloidosis.
The M694V and V726A allelic frequencies were, respectively, significantly higher and lower in the group with amyloidosis, compared to the control FMF group. The beta and gamma SAA1 alleles were more frequently encountered in the group without amyloidosis, whereas the alpha allele was significantly more observed in FMF patients with amyloidosis (p < 0.025). All the MICA alleles were encountered in both patients' groups, but none of them was significantly associated with amyloidosis.
The results suggest a protective effect of the SAA1 beta and gamma alleles on the development of amyloidosis and show the absence of a MICA modifying effect on amyloidosis development. Testing these polymorphisms on a larger sample will lead to more definite conclusions.
PMCID: PMC356915  PMID: 15018633

Results 1-2 (2)