Familial Adenomatous Polyposis - Genetics

Genetics

Familial adenomatous polyposis can have different inheritance patterns and different genetic causes. When this condition results from mutations in the APC gene, it is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, which means one copy of the altered gene is sufficient to cause the disorder. The incidence of malignancy in these cases approaches 100%. In most cases, an affected person has one parent with the condition.

Mutations in the MUTYH gene are inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern, which means two copies of the gene must be altered for a person to be affected by the disorder. Most often, the parents of a child with an autosomal recessive disorder are not affected but are carriers of one copy of the altered gene.

Prenatal testing is possible if a disease-causing mutation is identified in an affected family member; however, prenatal testing for typically adult-onset disorders is uncommon and requires careful genetic counseling.

Because of the genetic nature of FAP, polyposis registries have been developed around the world. The purpose of these registries is to increase knowledge about the transmissibility of FAP, but also to document, track, and notify family members of affected individuals. One study has shown that the use of a registry to notify family members (call-ups) significantly reduced mortality when compared with probands. The St. Mark's polyposis registry is the oldest in the world, started in 1924, and many other polyposis registries now exist.

Read more about this topic:  Familial Adenomatous Polyposis

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