University of Michigan Center for Statistical 


Amelioration of Sardinian β0 thalassemia by genetic modifiers.

Galanello R, Sanna S, Perseu L, Sollaino MC, Satta S, Lai ME, Barella S, Uda M, Usala G, Abecasis GR and Cao A

Blood (2009) 114:3935-7

Sardinian beta-thalassemia patients all are homozygotes for the same null allele in the beta-globin gene, but the clinical manifestations are extremely variable in severity. Previous studies have shown that the coinheritance of alpha-thalassemia or the presence of genetic variants that sustain fetal hemoglobin production has a strong impact on ameliorating the clinical phenotype. Here we evaluate the contribution of variants in the BCL11A, and HBS1L-MYB genes, implicated in the regulation of fetal hemoglobin, and of alpha-thalassemia coinheritance in 50 thalassemia intermedia and 75 thalassemia major patients. We confirm that alpha-thalassemia and allele C of single nucleotide polymorphism rs-11886868 in BCL11A were selectively represented in thalassemia intermedia patients. Moreover, allele G at single nucleotide polymorphism rs9389268 in the HBS1L-MYB locus was significantly more frequent in the thalassemia intermedia patients. This trio of genetic factors can account for 75% of the variation differences in phenotype severity.


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