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J Thromb Haemost. 2006 Dec;4(12):2623-8. Epub 2006 Sep 26.

Severe prothrombin deficiency caused by prothrombin-Edmonton (R-4Q) combined with a previously undetected deletion.

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Centre for Blood Research and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.



During infancy, a male patient experienced several life-threatening bleeding episodes. Standard coagulation tests revealed that the patient's plasma prothrombin activity was 8%, while his father's and mother's levels were 74% and 62%, respectively.


A molecular genetic approach was used to determine the molecular basis of prothrombin deficiency within the family.


Prothrombin genomic DNA fragments were amplified by using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). In addition, liver cDNA fragments were amplified from the patient by using reverse transcription (RT) and PCR. The nucleotide sequences of the DNA fragments were determined.


A novel, heterozygous point mutation (g.1755 G > A, named prothrombin-Edmonton) was detected in the patient and his mother, resulting in the mutation of Arg-4 in the prothrombin propeptide to Gln (R-4Q). RT-PCR analysis of the patient's liver sample demonstrated the presence of two mRNA transcripts that differed by the presence or absence of exon 11. Real-time PCR analysis on genomic DNA and cDNA confirmed a deletion (g.10435_10809del) in the paternal allele.


The patient has a maternally-inherited point mutation (R-4Q) and a paternally-inherited deletion. By analogy with the previously reported factor IX San Dimas, the R-4Q mutation probably causes under-carboxylation of prothrombin and poor cleavage of the propeptide in the hepatocyte. The deletion probably results in a polypeptide that lacks 50 amino acids from the protease domain; this is likely to impair folding, secretion, stability and/or activity of the truncated prothrombin. The two mutations combine to give the prothrombin deficiency observed in the patient.

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