Background: Fanconi anemia (FA) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder clinically characterized by developmental abnormalities, progressive bone marrow failure (BMF) and profound cancer predisposition. Approximately 65% of all affected individuals have mutation in the FANCA (Fanconi anemia complementation group A) gene. The mutation spectrum of the FANCA gene is highly heterogeneous. FA-A is usually associated with private FANCA mutations in individual families. Methods: We describe 3 unrelated patients with FA with a similar clinical presentation: BMF, renal anomalies and café-au-lait pigmentation without major skeletal abnormality. The molecular analysis of the FANCA gene using the FA MLPA kit P031-A2/P032 FANCA, showed homozygous deletion of exon 3 in all 3 patients. Molecular analysis of the flanking regions of exon 3 precisely defined unique deletion of 2,040 bp and duplication of C (1788_3828dupC). Discussion/Conclusions: These are the first 3 patients homozygous for deletion of FANCA exon 3 described to date. Although not related, the patients originated from the same Gypsy-like ethnic population. We conclude that c.190-256_283 + 1680del2040 dupC mutation in the FANCA gene is a founder mutation in Macedonian FA patients of Gypsy-like ethnic origin. Our finding has very strong implications for these patients in formulating diagnostic and carrier-screening strategy for BMF and FA and to enable comprehensive genetic counseling.

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