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Blood. 2002 Jan 1;99(1):168-74.

Recurrent inversion breaking intron 1 of the factor VIII gene is a frequent cause of severe hemophilia A.

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  • 1Division of Medical and Molecular Genetics, Guy's, King's, and St Thomas' School of Medicine, London, United Kingdom.


The messenger RNA (mRNA) from 5 of 69 patients with severe hemophilia A did not support amplification of complementary DNA containing the first few exons of the factor VIII (F8) gene but supported amplification of mRNA containing exon 1 of F8 plus exons of the VBP1 gene. This chimeric mRNA signals an inversion breaking intron 1 of the F8 gene. Using an inversion patient, one deleted for F8 exons 1 to 6, and cosmids mapped 70 to 100 kb telomeric of the F8 gene, this study shows that this break strictly affects a sequence (int1h-1) repeated (int1h-2) about 140 kb more telomerically, between the C6.1A and VBP1 genes. The 1041-base pair repeats differ at a single nucleotide (although int1h-2 also showed one polymorphism) and are in opposite orientation. The results demonstrate that they cause inversions by intrachromosome or intrachromatid homologous recombination. The genomic structure of the inversion region shows that transcription traverses intergenic spaces to produce the 2 chimeric mRNAs containing the F8 sequences and characteristic of the inversion. This observation prompts the suggestion that nature may use such extended transcription to test whether the addition of novel domains from neighboring genes creates desirable new genes. A rapid polymerase chain reaction test was developed for the inversion in both patients and carriers. This has identified 10 inversions, affecting F8 genes with 5 different haplotypes for the BclI, introns 13 and 22 VNTR polymorphism, among 209 unrelated families with severe hemophilia A. This indicates a prevalence of 4.8% and frequent recurrence of the inversion. This should result in absence of F8, and one inversion patient is known to have inhibitors. (Blood. 2002;99:168-174)

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