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Qadah T.,Head of Experimental Haematology Research Unit | Qadah T.,King Abdulaziz University | Finlayson J.,Head of Experimental Haematology Research Unit | Finlayson J.,University of Western Australia | And 3 more authors.
Hemoglobin | Year: 2015

In recent years, the identification of α-thalassemias caused by nondeletional mutations has increased significantly due to the advancement of sensitive molecular genetics tools. We report clinical and experimental data for a novel frameshift mutation caused by a single base deletion at position 388 in exon 3 of the α2-globin gene (HBA2: c.388delC; Hb Hamilton Hill), resulting in the phenotype of α-thalassemia (α-thal). Hb Hamilton Hill was identified in an adult female of unknown ethnicity investigated for unexplained microcytosis. Direct DNA sequencing of the HBA2 gene revealed a heterozygous mutation, HBA2: c.388delC, and the molecular effect of this mutation was assessed experimentally using our previously described in vitro model. The experimental analysis involved transfection of a human bladder carcinoma (5637) cell line with expression vectors carrying either HBA2-wild type (HBA2-WT) or HBA2: c.388delC followed by total RNA purification and cDNA synthesis. Both wild type and mutant gene expression was studied and compared at the transcriptional and translational levels using quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qReTi-PCR) and immunofluorochemistry (IFC), respectively. Our experimental data showed a significant reduction by 25.0% (p=0.04) in the transcriptional activity generated from HBA2: c.388delC compared to HBA2-WT. As a result of this base deletion, a frameshift in the open reading frame generates a premature termination codon (PTC) at codon 132 of exon 3 resulting in the formation of a truncated α-globin chain. The truncated α-globin chain, observed by the IFC technique, is most likely unstable and undergoes a rapid turnover resulting in the thalassemic phenotype. © 2015 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.

Qadah T.,Head of Experimental Haematology Research Unit | Qadah T.,University of Western Australia | Qadah T.,King Abdulaziz University | Finlayson J.,Head of Experimental Haematology Research Unit | And 5 more authors.
Hemoglobin | Year: 2014

In this study, we describe the clinical features and provide experimental analyses of a novel point mutation affecting the penultimate nucleotide of the first exon of the HBA2 (HBA2: c.94A>G) gene identified in a 26-year-old female who also carries a heterozygous Hb E (HBB: c.79G>A) variant. The aim of the study was to investigate the impact of this point mutation on the transcriptional activity of the HBA2 gene using a combination of an initial in silico prediction followed by in vitro mutagenesis and transcriptional activity assessment. The analyses revealed that the HBA2: c.94A>G point mutation causes the activation of a cryptic splice site located 49bp upstream of the exon1-intron1 boundary in both HBA2 long and short isoforms, thus generating a frameshift and a premature termination codon between codons 48 and 49 in the second exon. A rapid degradation of the aberrantly spliced transcripts by the nonsense mediated decay (NMD) surveillance system is highly indicative of an α-thalassemia (α-thal) phenotype. However, the abnormal mRNA may not be entirely degraded since the proband presents a slight splenomegaly that could be the sign of extra vascular hemolysis. © 2014 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.

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