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J Thromb Haemost. 2003 Nov;1(11):2381-8.

A common mutation, Arg457-->Gln, links prothrombin deficiencies in the Puerto Rican population.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, Colorado 80262, USA.


Five unrelated families with Puerto Rican ancestry were identified as having at least one member with bleeding due to a prothrombin deficiency. Genetic prothrombin deficiencies are extremely rare, but at the University of Puerto Rico Hemophilia Center, prothrombin deficiency is the third most common congenital coagulation factor deficiency. Because Puerto Rico is relatively isolated, there was a reasonable expectation of a founder effect. Prothrombin genes from probands and their parents were directly sequenced from PCR amplified exons using forward and reverse primers. Four novel prothrombin mutations were identified. The first, a G-->A substitution at DNA position 10150 predicting an Arg457-->Gln (R457Q) replacement, is common to all five families. In two of the families, the proband children are homozygous for R457Q. In the other three families, the probands are compound heterozygotes for R457Q and one of the other three mutations, which include another point mutation (gamma16Q), a deletion and a splice junction mutation. The two point mutations have been designated Puerto Rico I and Puerto Rico II. The crystal structure of alpha-thrombin predicts that the R457Q mutation removes a salt bridge that links the A- and B-chains of thrombin. The primary effect of this defect appears to be destabilization of the circulating prothrombin, creating a moderate hypoprothrombinemia. However, prothrombin antigen/activity ratios indicate a dysprothrombinemia as well, most likely due to the inability of R457Q prothrombin to activate fully to thrombin.

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