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Br J Haematol. 2009 Nov;147(3):386-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2009.07855.x. Epub 2009 Aug 17.

Genomic mutations associated with mild and severe deficiencies of transcobalamin I (haptocorrin) that cause mildly and severely low serum cobalamin levels.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, New York Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn, NY 11215, USA.


Transcobalamin (TC) I deficiency, like the function of TC I itself, is incompletely understood. It produces low serum cobalamin levels indistinguishable from those of true cobalamin deficiency. Diagnosis is especially elusive when TC I deficiency is mild. To provide new, more substantive definition, the TCN1 gene was examined in two well-characterised families that included members with both severe and mild TC I deficiencies. A severely deficient proposita with undetectable TC I levels displayed compound heterozygosity for two mutations, each causing a premature stop codon. Relatives in both families who had mildly low or low-normal plasma levels of TC I and cobalamin were heterozygous for one or the other of these mutations. An unrelated patient with mild TC I deficiency and unknown familial TC I and cobalamin status was then tested and found to be similarly heterozygous for one of the mutations. The two nonprivate mutations identify a genetic basis for TC I deficiency for the first time. They also add new approaches to studying mild and severe TC I deficiency and to reducing confusion of its low cobalamin levels with those of cobalamin deficiency and its often dramatically different prognosis and management.

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