R Testa

National Research Council, Roma, Latium, Italy

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Publications (38)149.69 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The increase of Hb A(2) (α2δ2) beyond the upper limit [2.0-2.2/3.3-3.4% of the total hemoglobin (Hb)] is an invaluable tool in the hematological screening of β-thalassemia (β-thal) carriers. Factors decreasing Hb A(2) percentages can hinder correct diagnosis. In order to analyze the genotype-phenotype relationship, we characterized δ-, β- and α-globin genotypes in 190 families where the probands had Hb A(2) values of ≤2.0% or were β-thal heterozygotes with normal Hb A(2) levels. Hb A(2) was measured with cation exchange high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Mutations were detected with allele-specific methods or DNA sequencing; two multiplex-ARMS (amplification refractory mutation system) assays were set up. The molecular basis underlying the decrease in Hb A(2) was extremely heterogeneous. Nineteen δ-globin alleles (Hb A(2)-S.N. Garganico was new) were detected; their interaction with α- or β-globin alleles (10 and eight, respectively) led us to observe 52 genotypes in 261 carriers. The type of δ-globin mutations, the relative genotypes, the interaction with α(0)-thal traits, are the most important factors in decreasing the Hb A(2) percentage. These results are extremely useful in addressing the molecular diagnosis of hemoglobinopathies and thalassemias.
    Hemoglobin 01/2010; 34(5):407-23. · 0.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: : The hemoglobin (Hb) lepore-Boston is a β-globin structural variant, produced in a reduced amount and formed from the fusion of N-terminus δ-(residues 1–87) and C-terminus β-chains (residues 116–146). This type of fusion protein is quite common in Southern Italy (Campania, Calabria, and Sicily). We report here the hematological and hemoglobin data on 96 unrelated Sicilians with Hb lepore trait. Particularly interesting are the subjects where Hb lepore occurs with Hb S or Sicilian type δβ-thalassemia. In these individuals, striking features are clinical variability and different hematological pictures. These observations underscore the importance of thalassemia screening in these geographic areas, such as Southern Italy, principally Sicily, where the mutations in globin gene clusters are especially prevalent. Moreover, as from the second half of the last century, owing to high migratory flux from Sicily to Northern Europe, North and South America, and Australia, the Hb lepore, as well as other hemoglobin variants, have become prevalent, making the identification of the heterozygotes a problem of general interest.
    European Journal Of Haematology 08/2009; 55(2):126-130. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report a new unstable variant identified in three carriers of a family from East Sicily; it was named Hb Bronte after the place from which the family originated. DNA sequencing from nucleotides −181 to +894 (α1) and to +884 (α2) revealed a GTG→GGG substitution at codon 93 of the α2‐globin gene. The MCV and MCH values were at the lower end of the normal range in the carriers. On cation exchange high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), the Hb A2 level was apparently increased to around 6%, and a small abnormal peak (0.3–0.4%) was detected after Hb A2. Two abnormal bands were detected by cellulose acetate electrophoresis: a major band (about 3–4%) migrated between Hb A and Hb F; a minor band (<1%) migrated between Hb A2 and carbonic anhydrase. Normal values of Hb A2 were detected by DEAE microchromatography. On reversed phase HPLC the variant chain was not detected, and most likely it was eluted with the α chain peak. The isopropanol stability test was very slightly positive in the carriers. Hemolytic symptoms were absent with the exception of indirect bilirubin, which was at high borderline in 2/3 carriers. In biosynthesis in vitro, the specific activity of the α chains was much higher than that of the β‐globin chains, and the α/β biosynthetic ratio in the mother and proband was of the β‐thalassemia (thal) type (2.24 and 2.54, respectively). Time course experiments showed that the increase of the 3H‐specific activity of the peak containing normal and variant α chains was not linear and was much higher than that of β chains; moreover, the α/β biosynthetic ratio varied during the 2 hours incubation.
    Hemoglobin 07/2009; 27(3):149-159. · 0.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The study of the alleles of the delta-globin gene is relevant to the prevention of beta-thalassemia homozygosis; in fact, the increase of the HbA2 is an invaluable hematological marker of the beta-thalassemia heterozygosis and the double heterozygosis for alleles of delta- and beta-globin genes can cause the decrease of the HbA2 up to normal or borderline values. We carried out the characterization of alleles of the delta- and beta-globin genes, restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) haplotype background, and hematologic phenotype in 23 double heterozygotes belonging to 18 unrelated families. A wide heterogeneity of the delta-globin alleles was detected; seven known alleles in trans to the beta-globin gene defects were revealed in 17 out of 18 families, while a new allele in cis to a beta-thalassemia allele was detected in one family. Moreover, the relative frequency of the delta-mutants was quite different from that found among heterozygotes. The new allele delta-cod 5 CCT>ACT, in cis to the allele beta(+) thal IVS-I-110 G>A, was found in five carriers of a Sicilian family. The new variant delta5(A2)Pro-->Thr, named HbA2-Partinico upon the origin of the family, was detected with high-performance liquid chromatography; it overlapped the HbA2 peak which was partially split. The double in cis heterozygotes had increased percentage of normal and variant HbA2 of comparable size. The variant originated most likely from a new mutational event because it was associated with RFLP haplotype I, commonly found with the beta(+) thal IVS-I-110 G>A, even if crossing over or gene conversion cannot be excluded.
    Annals of Hematology 07/2009; 89(2):127-34. · 2.40 Impact Factor
  • European Journal Of Haematology 01/2009; 58(1):67-69. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The human delta-globin gene (HBD) is one of the beta-like globin genes expressed in adults. In the Mediterranean countries the carriers of delta-thalassemia defects or Hb A2-variants are >1% and about 40/70 known alleles have been found in families with this ethnic origin. The scope of this study was to investigate the variability of the gene and of the chromosomal background in order to highlight the origin and spreading of the delta-globin gene alleles in the Mediterranean area. We carried out the characterization of the delta-globin gene alleles and of RFLP-haplotypes, SNPs and one microsatellite associated with them in 231 carriers originating principally from East Sicily. Seventeen alleles were identified, of which five were new. The chromosomes associated with mutated alleles from unrelated carriers were 158; the allele Hb A2-Yialousa accounted for about 75% of relative frequency, Hb A2-Mitsero for about 8%. The alleles were associated with RFLP 5'-haplotypes "- - - -" or "+ - + +", prevalent in the Mediterranean area, except Hb A2-Mitsero associated with the 5'-haplotype "Benin" "- - - +" and the Hb A2' associated with "+ - - +", both of African origin. Each allele showed linkage with one haplotype with these exceptions. The Hb A2-Yialousa showed heterogeneity of the 5'-haplotype in 2/58 chromosomes; the Hb A2-Mitsero showed SNPs and (A)gamma-microsatellite typical of a "Benin" haplotype found associated with the Hb C and Hb S chromosomes; the Hb A2-Yialousa (14/58 chromosomes), Hb A2-Mitsero, Hb A2-Pylos, Hb A2-Fitzroy showed heterogeneity in the 3'-haplotypes and beta-globin gene SNPs. The Hb A2-Coburg was found associated with the haplotype "+ - + +/+ +" different from that already reported "- - - -/+ -". With the exception of this last allele, the linkage of each mutation with a core of RFLPs or SNPs around or inside the delta-globin locus suggested the unicentric origin of the mutations followed by recurrent recombination events causing the chromosomal background heterogeneity.
    Gene 03/2008; 410(1):129-38. · 2.08 Impact Factor
  • Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 12/2006; 612(1):504 - 507. · 4.38 Impact Factor
  • Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 12/2006; 445(1):148 - 158. · 4.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Here we report the third observation (the second de novo) of unstable Hb Gun Hill or [b91(F7)-95(FG2)Leu-His-Cys-Asp-Lys-->0]. The two-year old male carrier showed low mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH) and mean hemoglobim concentration (MCHC), 8.5% fetal hemoglobin and trade mark 30% variant hemoglobin. Mild hemolytic symptoms were detected seven years later. DNA sequencing and functional studies of mRNA and globin chains were performed.
    Haematologica 06/2004; 89(6):743-5. · 5.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report a new unstable variant identified in three carriers of a family from East Sicily; it was named Hb Bronte after the place from which the family originated. DNA sequencing from nucleotides -181 to +894 (alpha1) and to +884 (alpha2) revealed a GTG-->GGG substitution at codon 93 of the alpha2-globin gene. The MCV and MCH values were at the lower end of the normal range in the carriers. On cation exchange high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), the Hb A2 level was apparently increased to around 6%, and a small abnormal peak (0.3-0.4%) was detected after Hb A2. Two abnormal bands were detected by cellulose acetate electrophoresis: a major band (about 3-4%) migrated between Hb A and Hb F; a minor band (<1%) migrated between Hb A2 and carbonic anhydrase. Normal values of Hb A2 were detected by DEAE microchromatography. On reversed phase HPLC the variant chain was not detected, and most likely it was eluted with the alpha chain peak. The isopropanol stability test was very slightly positive in the carriers. Hemolytic symptoms were absent with the exception of indirect bilirubin, which was at high borderline in 2/3 carriers. In biosynthesis in vitro, the specific activity of the alpha chains was much higher than that of the beta-globin chains, and the alpha/beta biosynthetic ratio in the mother and proband was of the beta-thalassemia (thal) type (2.24 and 2.54, respectively). Time course experiments showed that the increase of the 3H-specific activity of the peak containing normal and variant alpha chains was not linear and was much higher than that of beta chains; moreover, the alpha/beta biosynthetic ratio varied during the 2 hours incubation.
    Hemoglobin 08/2003; 27(3):149-59. · 0.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hb G-San Josè or beta7(A4)Glu-->Gly has been reported in Southern Italian or Mexican families. We have studied four families from Sicily and Campania, Southern Italy. In six carriers, the hemoglobin variant level ranged from 32 to 38%. In four double heterozygotes for Hb G-San Josè and alpha-thalassemia the variant level showed a strong correlation with the alpha-thalassemia genotype. In fact, the variant level was 15% when interacting with the - (alpha)20.5/alphaalpha, 19.6% with the alphaalpha/alphaPoly Aalpha, and 24.8% with alphaalpha/alpha(-5) ntalpha genotypes. In two double heterozygotes for Hb G-San Josè and beta+ -IVS-I-6 (T-->C) the hemoglobin variant level was 67%. These data show that the reduced synthesis of alpha chains causes drastic reduction of probability to form Hb G-San Josè in favor of the formation of Hb A. Moreover, this reduction, (i) correlates with the type of alpha-thalassemia genotype and with the degree of the alpha chain deficiency, and (ii) is, most probably, more marked than the degree of alpha chain reduction. The minor affinity of the beta chain variant for the alpha chains associated with the reduced synthesis of the alpha chains is probably the principal cause of the variant hemoglobin reduction. Moreover, the rapid removal of the abnormal chains by proteolytic enzymes must have an essential role in order to reduce the chain variant pool. These conclusions are in agreement with the results obtained in reticulocyte and in vitro recombination experiments.
    Hemoglobin 02/2002; 26(1):59-66. · 0.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sicily, at the center of the Mediterranean, has been the meeting place of Eastern and Western civilizations, and in the Sicilian population the presence of many different alterations in the globin gene clusters can surely be considered testimony of past colonizations. From 1975 to 1994, 100,000 Sicilian subjects were screened by us to monitor the presence of hemoglobin (Hb) structural variants. In this paper we present the data gathered, emphasizing the high incidence (2.5%) of carriers of at least one abnormal Hb, and the great heterogeneity of globin molecular defects on the island. Twenty-six different mutations were identified: the most common occur in the beta-globin gene (beta(S), beta(C), deltabeta(Lepore), beta(G-San José), beta(O-Arab), but also quite frequent is the mutated allele alpha(J-Oxford). The chromosome haplotypes associated with some of them were characterized. Two uncommon Hbs, Copenhagen and D Punjab, and some 18 rare variants complete the wide spectrum of structural alterations of globin genes in Sicily. We think they are de novo mutations prevalently. It is not possible to exclude that the presence of a few of them is related to migratory phenomena, particularly from North Africa and East Asia. Numerous thalassemic alleles complete the picture of globin gene mutations in Silicy.
    American Journal of Medical Genetics 04/1997; 69(2):200-6. · 3.23 Impact Factor
  • European Journal Of Haematology 02/1997; 58(1):67-9. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have determined the relative quantities of gamma- and beta-mRNAs and the alpha/beta-mRNA ratios in 37 patients with beta-thalassemia major with specific genotypes, namely 8 with a homozygosity for codon (CD) 39 (C-->T), 7 with a homozygosity for IVS-I-110 (G-->A), 5 with a homozygosity for IVS-I-6 (T-->C), for 15 patients with compound heterozygosities for 2 of these 3 mutations, and for 2 patients with the IVS-I-110 (G-->A)/-87 (C-->G) mutations. None had an alpha-thalassemia. Twelve patients had thalassemia intermedia and the remainder, transfusion-dependent severe conditions. Differences in phenotype were observed for compound heterozygotes involving the IVS-I-6 (T-->C) mutation in combination with either the IVS-I-110 (G-->A) or the CD 39 (C-->T) mutations: patients with thalassemia intermedia had a lower alpha/beta-mRNA ratio, about half of that of the patients with severe beta-thalassemia major. This might suggest a higher beta-mRNA synthesis in some patients than in others with the same genotype; mutations in promoter, enhancer, and/or locus control region sequences may be responsible for these differences. In vitro chain synthesis data were too incomplete to be helpful in this study. The RT-PCR procedure allowed the separation of abnormal (extended) mRNA from normal beta-RNA in subjects carrying the IVS-I-110 (G-->T) mutation. The relative quantities of this beta Th-mRNA (% of beta A + beta Th) were determined by scanning of the appropriate autoradiograms; they averaged 25% for homozygotes and about 4% for heterozygotes, indicating a considerable instability of the message.
    Acta Haematologica 01/1997; 97(4):205-10. · 0.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have determined the relative quantities of γ- and β-mRNAs and the α/β-mRNA ratios in 37 patients with β-thalassemia major with specific genotypes, namely 8 with a homozygosity for codon (CD) 39 (C→T), 7 with a homozygosity for IVS-I-110 (G→A), 5 with a homozygosity for IVS-I-6 (T→C), for 15 patients with compound heterozygosities for 2 of these 3 mutations, and for 2 patients with the IVS-I-110 (G→A)/-8 7 (C→G) mutations. None had an α-thalassemia. Twelve patients had thalassemia intermedia and the remainder, transfusion-dependent severe conditions. Differences in phenotype were observed for compound heterozygotes involving the IVS-I-6 (T→C) mutation in combination with either the IVS-I-110 (G→A) or the CD 39 (C→T) mutations: patients with thalassemia intermedia had a lower α/ β-mRNA ratio, about half of that of the patients with severe β-thalassemia major. This might suggest a higher β-mRNA synthesis in some patients than in others with the same genotype; mutations in promoter, enhancer, and/or locus control region sequences may be responsible for these differences. In vitro chain synthesis data were too incomplete to be helpful in this study. The RT-PCR procedure allowed the separation of abnormal (extended) mRNA from normal β-RNA in subjects carrying the IVS-I-110 (G→T) mutation. The relative quantities of this βTh-mRNA (% of βA+ βTh) were determined by scanning of the appropriate autoradiograms; they averaged 25% for homozygotes and about 4% for heterozygotes, indicating a considerable instability of the message.
    Acta Haematologica. 01/1997; 97(4):205-210.
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    ABSTRACT: The hemoglobin (Hb) lepore-Boston is a beta-globin structural variant, produced in a reduced amount and formed from the fusion of N-terminus delta-(residues 1-87) and C-terminus beta-chains (residues 116-146). This type of fusion protein is quite common in Southern Italy (Campania, Calabria, and Sicily). We report here the hematological and hemoglobin data on 96 unrelated Sicilians with Hb lepore trait. Particularly interesting are the subjects where Hb lepore occurs with Hb S or Sicilian type delta beta-thalassemia. In these individuals, striking features are clinical variability and different hematological pictures. These observations underscore the importance of thalassemia screening in these geographic areas, such as Southern Italy, principally Sicily, where the mutations in globin gene clusters are especially prevalent. Moreover, as from the second half of the last century, owing to high migratory flux from Sicily to Northern Europe, North and South America, and Australia, the Hb lepore, as well as other hemoglobin variants, have become prevalent, making the identification of the heterozygotes a problem of general interest.
    European Journal Of Haematology 09/1995; 55(2):126-30. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The clinical, hematological, and molecular features of 81 patients with Hb S-beta-thalassemia and relatives from 76 unrelated families are reported. We analyzed the beta-thalassemia mutations and the beta S haplotypes in all patients and detected 6 different beta-thalassemia alleles: codon 39 (C-->T) (39 cases), IVS-I-1 (G-->A) (12 cases), IVS-II-1 (G-->A) (4 cases), IVS-I-6 (T-->C) (6 cases), IVS-I-110 (G-->A) (14 cases), and IVS-II-745 (G-->C) (6 cases). Eighty patients had haplotype #19 or the Benin type and one had haplotype #17 or the Cameroon type. The type of beta-thalassemia allele had the greatest influence on the phenotypic expression; this was observed for patients with Hb S-beta-thalassemia and for simple beta-thalassemia heterozygotes. The mild IVS-I-6 (T-->C) mutation produced borderline abnormal erythrocytic indices and Hb A2 levels in heterozygotes. Overall, there was a milder expression in beta(S) beta(+) patients (only 7.7% presented severe disease) than in those with the beta(S)beta(0) condition (22.6% had the severe form of the disease).
    American Journal of Hematology 01/1993; 41(4):264-9. · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The clinical, hematological, and molecular features of 81 patients with Hb S-β-thalassemia and relatives from 76 unrelated families are reported. We analyzed the β-thalassemia mutations and the βS haplotypes in all patients and detected 6 different β-thalassemia alleles: codon 39 (C→T) (39 cases), IVS-I-1 (G→A) (12 cases), IVS-II-1 (G→A) (4 cases), IVS-l-6 (T→C) (6 cases), IVS-I-110 (G→A) (14 cases), and IVS-II-745 (G→C) (6 cases). Eighty patients had haplotype #19 or the Benin type and one had haplotype #17 or the Cameroon type. The type of β-thalassemia allele had the greatest influence on the phenotypic expression; this was observed for patients with Hb S-β-thalassemia and for simple β-thalassemia heterozygotes. The mild IVS-I-6 (T→C) mutation produced borderline abnormal erythrocytic indices and Hb A2 levels in heterozygotes. Overall, there was a milder expression in βSβ+ patients (only 7.7% presented severe disease) than in those with the βSβ° condition (22.6% had the severe form of the disease). © 1992 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
    American Journal of Hematology 12/1992; 41(4):264-269. · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the clinical, hematological, and molecular findings observed in 32 Sicilian patients with sickle cell disease. None of our patients received regular blood transfusions and careful infectious disease prophylaxis was carried out for all. Haplotyping of beta S chromosomes was performed in all patients; all were homozygous for haplotype #19 (Benin). Gene mapping excluded the presence of an alpha-thalassemia in 13 of our patients; none of the relatives showed any evidence of the presence of alpha-thalassemia. Hb F levels were 11.8 +/- 5.9% with G gamma representing 39.6 +/- 3.6% of total gamma chain. Hb F levels were higher in females than in males (12.5 +/- 5.9% versus 9.7 +/- 6.5%) but the difference was not statistically significant. All patients, regardless of age and sex, were anemic with normal mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, high mean corpuscular volume and mean corpuscular hemoglobin, and mild reticulocytosis. Analysis of clinical manifestations suggests that our patients have a disease of moderate severity.
    Hemoglobin 02/1992; 16(6):469-80. · 0.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Analysis of polymorphisms of the beta-globin gene cluster was performed on 12 families and on one unrelated individual of Sicilian origin who carried hemoglobin C (Hb C). Two different haplotypes were found in association with beta c Sicilian alleles, corresponding to haplotypes I and II previously described in American blacks. In our population, the more frequent one (haplotype I) was linked to the lack of a polymorphic HpaI site 3' to the beta gene (13.0-kb fragment), similarly to haplotype I in blacks, while the less frequent one was linked to a 7.0-kb HpaI fragment attributable to a site that had never been previously described in linkage with beta c alleles. In Italy, these two haplotypes have been found in rare cases in association with beta A alleles. These findings provide new insights into the origin of Hb C present in Sicily, suggesting that (1) the beta c mutation detected in Sicily derived from African black chromosomes and does not represent a new mutation; and (2) Hb C may have originated either by multiple mutational events on separate chromosomes or by mutation in the HpaI site 3' to the beta gene in a pre-existing beta c chromosome.
    American Journal of Hematology 02/1992; 39(1):5-8. · 3.48 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

143 Citations
149.69 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2008–2010
    • National Research Council
      • Institute of Genetics and Biophysics "Adriano Buzzati Traverso" IGB
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 1983–2010
    • University of Catania
      Catania, Sicily, Italy
  • 2009
    • Azienda Ospedaliero - Universitaria Policlinico - Vittorio Emanuele
      Catania, Sicily, Italy