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Blood. 1998 Sep 1;92(5):1646-51.

Molecular mechanisms of FVII deficiency: expression of mutations clustered in the IVS7 donor splice site of factor VII gene.

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Dipartimento di Biochimica e Biologia Molecolare - CIBF, Sezione SBPGU, Università di Ferrara, Ferrara; the Divisione di Ematologia, Ospedale Niguarda, Milano, Italy.


In three Italian patients, two point mutations and a short deletion were found in the intron 7 of factor VII gene, clustered in the donor splice site and located in the first of several repeats. The mutation 9726+5G-->A, the most frequent cause of symptomatic factor VII deficiency in Italy, as well as the deletion (9729del4) gave rise in expression studies to abnormally spliced transcripts, which were exclusively produced from the cryptic site in the second repeat. The insertion in the mature mRNA of the first intronic repeat caused (9726+5G-->A) a reading frameshift, abolishing most of the factor VII catalytic domain, or produced (9729del4), an altered factor with 11 additional residues, the activity of which was not detectable in the cell medium after mutagenesis and expression studies. Studies of factor VII ectopic mRNA from leukocytes and expression studies indicated that the deleted gene produced 30% of normally spliced transcript. Differently, the 9726+5G-->A mutation permitted a very low level (0.2% to 1%) of correct splicing to occur, which could be of great importance to prevent the onset, in the homozygous patients, of most of the life-threatening bleeding symptoms. The 9726+7A-->G mutation was found to be a rare and functionally silent polymorphism. These findings, which provide further evidence of the interplay of sequence and position in the 5' splice site selection, throw light on the heterogeneous molecular bases and clinical phenotypes of FVII deficiency.

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