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Nature. 1985 Jan 24-30;313(6000):323-5.

G to A substitution in the distal CCAAT box of the A gamma-globin gene in Greek hereditary persistence of fetal haemoglobin.


The sequence 5'TTGGPyCAAT 3' (the 'CCAAT box') is a constituent of the promoter region of many eukaryotic and prokaryotic genes and is believed to play a part in promoter function. A characteristic of the two fetal human globin genes (A gamma and G gamma) is a duplication of a 12-base pair (bp) sequence containing the CCAAT box. Here we report a G----A substitution in the TTG sequence of the distal CCAAT box of the A gamma-globin gene in an individual with the A gamma (Greek) type of hereditary persistence of fetal haemoglobin (HPFH). This represents the first report of a natural mutation of the CCAAT box in a eukaryotic gene. The fact that this transition is associated with inappropriate expression of the A gamma gene in adult life suggests that the CCAAT box (or its surrounding sequences) may have a role in the developmental control of gamma-globin genes.

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