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Nucleic Acids Res. 1985 Sep 25;13(18):6559-75.

A Chinese G gamma + (A gamma delta beta)zero thalassemia deletion: comparison to other deletions in the human beta-globin gene cluster and sequence analysis of the breakpoints.


A clone was isolated that contains the deletion junction region from an individual with a deletion associated with Chinese G gamma + (A gamma delta beta)zero thalassemia. A clone containing the normal DNA corresponding to the 3' breakpoint of this deletion was also isolated. Portions of these two clones were sequenced and compared to the region in the A gamma-globin gene where the 5' breakpoint occurs. This comparison reveals that the breakage and reunion event was nonhomologous and that it probably involved the insertion of 36-41 bases of DNA belonging to the L1 (KpnI) family of repetitive DNA. Genomic mapping revealed that the DNA on the 3' side of this deletion is closely linked in normal DNA to the 3' breakpoints of two different large deletions that are associated with hereditary persistence of fetal hemoglobin (HPFH). We cloned and mapped 35 kbp of normal DNA from this region (greater than 45 kbp downstream of the human beta-globin gene) that contains the 3' breakpoints of the Chinese thalassemia and the two HPFH deletions. An endogenous retrovirus-like element and several other repetitive sequences are located within this region. We show that the Chinese thalassemia deletion is greater than 80 kbp in length and differs in size from the two HPFH deletions by less than 6%. We also show that the Chinese thalassemia deletion is at least 40 kbp larger than several other deletions associated with a very similar phenotype.

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