Genetic modifiers in hemoglobinopathies.
ABSTRACT Hereditary anemias show considerable variation in their clinical presentation. In some cases, the causes of these variations are easily apparent. In thalassemia (or in HbE/thalassemia), genetic variation is primarily caused by the severity of the thalassemia mutation. However, not uncommonly, there is variation unexplained by the globin gene mutations themselves, which may be caused by genetic modifiers. In sickle cell disease, the primary mutation is the same in all patients. Therefore, variations in disease severity generally are due to genetic modifiers. In most genetic diseases involving beta globin, the most clearcut influence on phenotype results from elevated fetal hemoglobin levels. In addition, alpha globin gene number can influence disease phenotype. In thalassemia major or intermedia, reduction in the number of alpha globin genes can ameliorate the disease phenotype; conversely, excess alpha globin genes can convert beta thalassemia trait to a clinical picture of thalassemia intermedia. In sickle cell disease, the number of alpha globin genes has both ameliorating and exacerbating effects, depending on which disease manifestation is being examined. Unlinked genetic factors have substantial effects on the phenotype of hereditary anemias, both on the anemia and other disease manifestations. Recently, studies using genome-wide techniques, particularly studying QTLs causing elevated HbF, or affecting HbE/thalassemia, have revealed other genetic elements whose mechanisms are under study. The elucidation of genetic modifiers will hopefully lead to more rational and effective management of these diseases.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Sickle cell β-thalassemia is a compound heterozygous state of β-thalassemia and sickle cell anemia. Patient with these conditions showed mild-to-severe clinical phenotype. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of α-globin gene numbers on the phenotype of sickle cell β-thalassemia patients. Seventy-five sickle cell β-thalassemia patients were characterized. Clinical, hematological, and molecular characterization was performed in all subjects. Amplified refectory mutation system-polymerase chain reaction was applied for β-thalassemia mutation study while α-genotyping was conducted by Gap-PCR. Highest frequency of IVS1-5 (33 out of 75 patients) β-thalassemia genotype was recorded. Twenty-eight patients were reported with α-globin chain deletion while four had α-triplications (Anti α-3.7kb). Sickle β-thalassemia patients with α-chain deletions ameliorate hematological and clinical variables. This study indicates that the coexistence of α-globin chain deletions showed mild phenotype instead of absence of α-chain deletions while the patients with triplication of α-genes express severe phenotype.Journal of Clinical Laboratory Analysis 01/2014; · 1.36 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Bone tissue is adversely affected in patients with homozygous β-thalassemia. The aim of this study was to find warning signs of bone loss in young patients with β-thalassemia and allow prompt therapeutic interventions. Thirty-eight patients were studied, 20 boys and 18 girls, aged 5 to 18 years (median = 14.13 y), on regular transfusions and chelation treatments. Their bone mineral density (BMD) was measured with dual x-ray absorptiometry. The recorded parameters were weight, height, bone age (BA), transfusion adequacy (mean fetal hemoglobin value), and chelation efficacy (mean ferritin value, compliance). Tanner stage was also evaluated: 8 prepubertal subjects (stage 1), 18 peripubertal subjects (stages 2 and 3), and 12 postpubertal patients (stages 4 and 5). Blood and urine samples were collected for biochemical analysis. Mean BMD z score was -1.56 ± 1.25. Thirteen patients had normal BMD (z score >-1), 17 patients had low BMD (z score: -1 up to -2.4), and 8 patients had very low BMD (z score <-2.5). Low BMD was observed in patients older than 12 years and was associated with short stature (r = 0.33, P = 0.04), delayed BA (r = 0.61, P = 0.01), and increased bone formation markers. There was no correlation of BMD z score with sex, fetal hemoglobin value, ferritin, and compliance. Regarding Tanner stage, it was associated strongly with short stature (r = 0.57, P = 0.01), ferritin (r = -0.38, P = 0.02), and compliance (r = 0.58, P = 0.01). CONLUSIONS: The decline in BMD may start early, even in the well-transfused patients. This study targets the young patients who are mostly at the risk for bone loss, that is short adolescents with delayed BA. Their prompt recognition in everyday practice is important, as they will need close monitoring of their BMD and metabolic bone profile. In addition, therapeutic interventions, such as adequate calcium intake and sunlight exposure, weight-bearing exercise and, in cases of vitamin D insufficiency, proper supplementation could be suggested.Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology 03/2012; 34(5):344-8. · 0.97 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The frequency of hemoglobinopathies is still high in Adana, the biggest city of the Cukurova Region that is located in the southern part of Turkey. Our aim was to identify the concomitant mutations in α- and β-globin genes which lead to complex hemoglobinopathies and to establish an appropriate plan of action for each subject, particularly when prenatal diagnosis is necessary. We studied the association between the β-globin gene and α-thalassemia genotypes. The reverse hybridization technique was employed to perform molecular analysis, and the results were confirmed by amplification refractory mutation system (ARMS) or restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) technique. We evaluated 36 adult subjects (28 female and 8 male; age range: 18-52 years) with concomitant mutations in their α- and β-globin genes. The -α(3.7)/αα deletion was the commonest defect in the α-chain as expected, followed by α(3.7)/-α(3.7) deletion. Twenty-five of 36 cases were sickle cell trait with coexisting α-thalassemia, while seven Hb S/S patients had concurrent mutations in their α-genes. The coexistence of α(PolyA-2)α/αα with Hb A/D and with Hb S/D, which is very uncommon, was also detected. There was a subject with compound heterozygosity for β-globin chain (-α(3.7)/αα with IVSI.110/S), and also a case who had -α(3.7)/αα deletion with IVSI.110/A. Although limited, our data suggest that it would be valuable to study coexisting α-globin mutations in subjects with sickle cell disease or β-thalassemia trait during the screening programs for premarital couples, especially in populations with a high frequency of hemoglobinopathies.Archives of medical science : AMS. 09/2012; 8(4):644-9.