The role of UGT1A1 promoter polymorphism and exon-1 mutations in neonatal jaundice

Methods: Two-hundred term neonates in their first week of life and without additional icterogenic factors were included in the study. Neonates with a serum total bilirubin (STB) level ≥17 mg/dL constituted the hyperbilirubinemia group (n = 100), while the control group comprised healthy neonates with a STB level <12.9 mg/dL (n = 100). The cases were further subdivided into unexplained hyperbilirubinemia (n = 50), ABO(+) hyperbilirubinemia (n = 50), ABO(–) control (n = 50), and ABO(+) control (n = 50) groups on the basis of the presence or absence of DC(–) ABO incompatibility. DNA was isolated from peripheral blood and amplified by PCR, and UGT1A1 gene promoter and exon-1 were sequenced to verify sequence alterations.

Results: The frequency of TA6/6, TA6/7, TA7/7, and GGA/GGA, GGA/AGA, AGA/AGA genotypes was found to be 63.5%, 21%, 15.5%, and 91.5%, 8%, 0.5%, respectively. While both heterozygous and homozygous TA7 polymorphism increased risk of hyperbilirubinemia in the ABO(+) hyperbilirubinemia group (heterozygous OR 16.76, 95% CI:3.52-79.70, p < 0.0001; homozygous OR 6.81, 95% CI:1.98-23:42, p = 0.002), only heterozygous TA7 polymorphism increased jaundice risk (OR 5.08 95% CI:76-14.65, p = 0.003) in unexplained hyperbilirubinemia. But, the coexistence of G71R mutation and promoter polymorphism or G71R mutation and DC(–) ABO incompatibility did not increase the severity of hyperbilirubinemia (p > 0.05).

Conclusions: UGT1A1 gene promoter polymorphism and G71R mutation are possible risk factors for Turkish neonates with DC(–) ABO incompatibility and unexplained hyperbilirubinemia.

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