A QTL influencing F cell production maps to a gene encoding a zinc-finger protein on chromosome 2p15.

King's College London School of Medicine, Division of Gene and Cell Based Therapy, King's Denmark Hill Campus, London SE5 9PJ, UK.
Nature Genetics (Impact Factor: 29.65). 11/2007; 39(10):1197-9. DOI: 10.1038/ng2108
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT F cells measure the presence of fetal hemoglobin, a heritable quantitative trait in adults that accounts for substantial phenotypic diversity of sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia. We applied a genome-wide association mapping strategy to individuals with contrasting extreme trait values and mapped a new F cell quantitative trait locus to BCL11A, which encodes a zinc-finger protein, on chromosome 2p15. The 2p15 BCL11A quantitative trait locus accounts for 15.1% of the trait variance.

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    ABSTRACT: Fetal hemoglobin (HbF) levels in sickle cell anemia patients vary. We genotyped polymorphisms in the erythroid-specific enhancer of BCL11A to see if they might account for the very high HbF associated with the Arab-Indian (AI) haplotype and Benin haplotype of sickle cell anemia. Six BCL112A enhancer SNPs and their haplotypes were studied in Saudi Arabs from the Eastern Province and Indian patients with AI haplotype (HbF ~20%), African Americans (HbF ~7%), and Saudi Arabs from the Southwestern Province (HbF ~12%). Four SNPs (rs1427407, rs6706648, rs6738440, and rs7606173) and their haplotypes were consistently associated with HbF levels. The distributions of haplotypes differ in the 3 cohorts but not their genetic effects: the haplotype TCAG was associated with the lowest HbF level and the haplotype GTAC was associated with the highest HbF level and differences in HbF levels between carriers of these haplotypes in all cohorts were approximately 6%. Common HbF BCL11A enhancer haplotypes in patients with African origin and AI sickle cell anemia have similar effects on HbF but they do not explain their differences in HbF. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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    ABSTRACT: Common genetic variants residing near upstream regulatory elements for MYB, the gene encoding transcription factor cMYB, promote the persistence of fetal hemoglobin (HbF) into adulthood. While they have no consequences in healthy individuals, high HbF levels have major clinical benefits in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) or β thalassemia. Here, we present our detailed investigation of HBS1L-MYB intergenic polymorphism block 2 (HMIP-2), the central component of the complex quantitative-trait locus upstream of MYB, in 1,022 individuals with SCD in Tanzania. We have looked at 1022 individuals with HbSS or HbS/β(0) in Tanzania. In order to achieve a detailed analysis of HMIP-2, we performed targeted genotyping for a total of 10 SNPs and extracted additional 528 SNPs information from a genome wide scan involving the same population. Using MACH, we utilized the existing YRI data from 1000 genomes to impute 54 SNPs situated within HIMP-2. Seven HbF-increasing, low-frequency variants (β > 0.3, p < 10(-5), f ≤ 0.05) were located in two partially-independent sub-loci, HMIP-2A and HMIP-2B. The spectrum of haplotypes carrying such alleles was diverse when compared to European and West African reference populations: we detected one such haplotype at sub-locus HMIP-2A, two at HMIP-2B, and a fourth including high-HbF alleles at both sub-loci ('Eurasian' haplotype clade). In the region of HMIP-2A a putative functional variant (a 3-bp indel) has been described previously, but no such candidate causative variant exists at HMIP-2B. Extending our dataset through imputation with 1000 Genomes, whole-genome-sequence data, we have mapped peak association at HMIP-2B to an 11-kb region around rs9494145 and rs9483788, flanked by two conserved regulatory elements for MYB. Studies in populations from the African continent provide distinct opportunities for mapping disease-modifying genetic loci, especially for conditions that are highly prevalent there, such as SCD. Population-genetic characteristics of our cohort, such as ethnic diversity and the predominance of shorter, African-type haplotypes, can add to the power of such studies.
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