View Main Condition: Anemia
Fanconi anemia is a condition that affects many parts of the body. People with this condition may have bone marrow failure, physical abnormalities, organ defects, and an increased risk of certain cancers.
Mutations in at least 15 genes can cause Fanconi anemia. Proteins produced from these genes are involved in a cell process known as the FA pathway. The FA pathway is turned on (activated) when the process of making new copies of DNA, called DNA replication, is blocked due to DNA damage. The FA pathway sends certain proteins to the area of damage, which trigger DNA repair so DNA replication can continue.
Fanconi anemia occurs in 1 in 160,000 individuals worldwide. This condition is more common among people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, the Roma population of Spain, and Black South Africans.
Fanconi anemia is most often inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern, which means both copies of the gene in each cell have mutations. The parents of an individual with an autosomal recessive condition each carry one copy of the mutated gene, but they typically do not show signs and symptoms of the condition.
Published Date: January 01, 2012Published By: National Institutes of Health