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Transfusion. 2008 Aug;48(8):1650-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2008.01732.x. Epub 2008 May 13.

Investigation into A antigen expression on O2 heterozygous group O-labeled red blood cell units.

Author information

1
Institute for Transfusion Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There are two principal types of group O alleles; deletional alleles feature 261delG leading to nonfunctional truncated protein. Nondeletional alleles have the consensus guanosine at residue 261. The major nondeletional allele, O2, encodes full-length protein with Gly268Arg. While reports vary, O2 has been proposed to encode weakly functional A-glycosyltransferase (GTA). The main objective of this study was to evaluate if GTA activity is detectable in O2 donors.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS:

Donor samples from Pittsburgh and Lund were ABO typed by automated methods. DNA was extracted from 779 group O donors whose red blood cells (RBCs) were available for transfusion. ABO genotyping identified those with O2 alleles. The following tests were performed on randomly selected O2 samples (number): adsorption-elution with anti-A (3), flow cytometry (15), plasma enzyme activity (4), and attempts to convert group O RBCs to A (2) with O2 plasma and titration of plasma anti-A/-A1 (3).

RESULTS:

Forty O2-heterozygous donors were identified (5.1%). Adsorption-elution and sensitive flow cytometry did not reveal A antigens on O2 RBCs. Plasma enzyme analysis failed to show GTA activity above baseline; O2 plasma was unable to add measurable A antigens to O RBCs. Titers of anti-A/-A1 appeared reduced in O2 plasma but did not cause ABO typing discrepancies. No immediate hemolysis or adverse reactions were reported following transfusion of O2 RBCs to six evaluable group O recipients.

CONCLUSIONS:

Other than lower plasma anti-A titers, GTA activity was not found in these O2 samples. Neither automated blood grouping discrepancies nor clinical problems related to transfusing these O2 units were observed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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