Severe early-onset Wilson disease caused by a common pathogenic variant in the Bukharan Jewish population in Israel

Naama Orenstein, Yael Mozer Glassberg, Vered Shkalim-Zemer, Lina Basel-Salmon, Noa Shefer Averbuch, Irina Lagovsky, Anat Guz Mark, Achiya Z. Amir, Lily Bazak, Shiri Cooper, Yael Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Wilson disease is caused by pathogenic variants in the ATP7B gene which encodes a copper-transporting ATPase. Aims: Describe a common founder pathogenic variant among Bukharan Jews and to assess its prevalence, clinical features, and outcome. Methods: The cohort consisted of patients of Bukharan Jewish descent diagnosed with Wilson disease at a tertiary pediatric medical center in 2013–2018. Clinical and genetic data were collected and analyzed. Results: Six patients from 4 unrelated families who were homozygous for the c.3784G > T p.(Val1262Phe) pathogenic variant in ATP7B were identified. Five presented with elevated aminotransferase levels, and one, with acute liver failure. Mean age at diagnosis was 8.7 years (5–12.5). Serum ceruloplasmin level was extremely low in all patients (1.9–7 mg/dL; mean 3.2(. The variant was identified in a heterozygous state in 5/153 Bukharan Jews; 2/33 from our local exome database and 3/120 healthy unrelated Bukharan Jews in another cohort, for an estimated carrier frequency of ∼1:30. Conclusions: We report a common founder pathogenic variant in the ATP7B gene among Bukharan Jews associated with severe early-onset Wilson disease. Given the clinical severity, high frequency of the variant, and being a treatable disease, its inclusion in pre-symptomatic screening in the Bukharan Jewish community should be considered. Furthermore, WD should be part of future genetic newborn screening programs in Israel and worldwide, to enable early treatment and prevention of future life-threatening complications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number147728
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes

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© 2023 Elsevier B.V.


  • ATP7B
  • Early diagnosis
  • Founder pathogenic variant
  • P.(Val1262Phe)


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