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Leg Med (Tokyo). 2005 Jul;7(4):263-5.

Regulation of ABO gene expression.

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Department of Legal Medicine and Molecular Genetics, Graduate School of Medicine, Gunma University, Maebashi 371-8511, Japan.


The ABO blood group system is important in blood transfusions and in identifying individuals during criminal investigations. Two carbohydrate antigens, the A and B antigens, and their antibodies constitute this system. Although biochemical and molecular genetic studies have demonstrated the molecular basis of the histo-blood group ABO system, some aspects remain to be elucidated. To explain the molecular basis of how the ABO genes are controlled in cell type-specific expression, during normal cell differentiation, and in cancer cells with invasive and metastatic potential that lack A/B antigens, it is essential to understand the regulatory mechanism of ABO gene transcription. We review the transcriptional regulation of the ABO gene, including positive and negative elements in the upstream region of the gene, and draw some inferences that help to explain the phenomena described above.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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