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J Thromb Haemost. 2009 Jul;7(7):1084-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1538-7836.2009.03443.x. Epub 2009 May 4.

Distinct C-terminus of the B subunit of factor XIII in a population-associated major phenotype: the first case of complete allele-specific alternative splicing products in the coagulation and fibrinolytic systems.

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Department of Molecular Patho-Biochemistry, Yamagata University School of Medicine, Yamagata, Japan.



The purpose of this study was to elucidate the molecular bases of the heterogeneity of the B subunit of coagulation factor XIII (FXIII-B), classified by isoelectric focusing into its three population-associated major phenotypes.


By genetic sequencing and polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-restriction fragment length polymorphism analyses, a C-to-G change was identified in intron K for the Asian-associated major phenotype FXIII-B*3. A transcript containing the novel exon XII' was detected by reverse transcription PCR using hepatocyte cell lines with this allele. The exclusive existence of a novel C-terminal peptide in a homozygote of FXIII-B*3 was also detected by matrix-assisted laser-desorption ionization time of flight mass spectrometry. The FXIII-B*3 isoform had a C-terminus 15 residues longer than the other isoforms, containing two additional basic amino acids and one extra acidic amino acid. Accordingly, the C-to-G nucleotide substitution created an efficient splice acceptor AG dinucleotide, which resulted in allele-specific alternative splicing in intron K. When compared with FXIII-B*1, the third major phenotype, FXIII-B*2, had an A-to-G change in exon III, converting His95 to Arg, and a rare phenotype, FXIII-B*4, had an A-to-T change in exon VII, converting Glu368 to Val.


We found an extremely rare event of complete allele-specific alternative splicing for FXIII-B. The FXIII-B*3 isoform had a distinct C-terminal peptide, while the FXIII-B*2 and FXIII-B*4 isoforms had His95 to Arg and Glu368 to Val substitutions, respectively, which led to differential isoelectric points of these isoforms. Such variations in the amino acid sequence of FXIII-B may have profound effects on its structure-function relationship, plasma FXIII levels, and disease susceptibility.

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