The polyadenylation site mutation in the alpha-globin gene cluster
Thein SL., Wallace RB., Pressley L., Clegg JB., Weatherall DJ., Higgs DR.
In a previous study, we described a form of nondeletion alpha-thalassemia (alpha T Saudi alpha) found in subjects of Saudi Arabian origin. In the current study, using synthetic oligoprobe hybridization and restriction enzyme analysis, we have demonstrated that the molecular basis of alpha T Saudi alpha is due solely to a single base mutation (AATAAA----AATAAG) in the polyadenylation signal of the alpha 2 gene and that the frameshift mutation in codon 14 of the linked alpha 1 gene is the result of a cloning artefact. The alpha 2 polyadenylation signal mutation occurs in other Middle Eastern and the Mediterranean populations and is responsible for the clinical phenotype of Hb H disease in some Saudi Arabian individuals with five alpha genes (alpha T Saudi alpha/(alpha alpha alpha)T Saudi). Evidence suggests that the (alpha alpha alpha)T Saudi haplotype has arisen as a result of a recombination between two misaligned chromosomes bearing the alpha T Saudi alpha defect.