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Blood. 2001 Sep 1;98(5):1585-93.

Genomic analysis of clinical samples with serologic ABO blood grouping discrepancies: identification of 15 novel A and B subgroup alleles.

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Blood Centre, University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.


Since the cloning in 1990 of complementary DNA corresponding to messenger RNA transcribed at the blood group ABO locus, polymorphisms and phenotype-genotype correlations have been reported by several investigators. Exons 6 and 7, constituting 77% of the gene, have been analyzed previously in samples with variant phenotypes but for many subgroups the molecular basis remains unknown. This study analyzed 324 blood samples involved in ABO grouping discrepancies and determined their ABO genotype. Samples from individuals found to have known subgroup alleles (n = 53), acquired ABO phenotypes associated with different medical conditions (n = 65), probable chimerism (n = 3), and common red blood cell phenotypes (n = 109) were evaluated by ABO genotype screening only. Other samples (n = 94) from apparently healthy donors with weak expression of A or B antigens were considered potential subgroup samples without known molecular background. The full coding region (exons 1-7) and 2 proposed regulatory regions of the ABO gene were sequenced in selected A (n = 22) or B (n = 12) subgroup samples. Fifteen novel ABO subgroup alleles were identified, 2 of which are the first examples of mutations outside exon 7 associated with weak subgroups. Each allele was characterized by a missense or nonsense mutation for which screening by allele-specific primer polymerase chain reaction was performed. The novel mutations were encountered in 28 of the remaining 60 A and B subgroup samples but not among normal donors. As a result of this study, the number of definable alleles associated with weak ABO subgroups has increased from the 14 previously published to 29.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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