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Transfusion. 2015 Nov;55(11):2624-32. doi: 10.1111/trf.13225. Epub 2015 Jul 14.

RHCE*ceAG (254C>G, Ala85Gly) is prevalent in blacks, encodes a partial ce-phenotype, and is associated with discordant RHD zygosity.

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Laboratory of Immunohematology and Genomics.
Laboratory of Immunochemistry, New York Blood Center, New York, New York.
National Molecular Laboratory, American Red Cross.
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.



RHCE*ceAG has the nucleotide change c.254C>G, which encodes p.Ala85Gly associated with altered expression of e antigen. We analyzed serologic and DNA-based testing data on samples with RHCE*ceAG to determine its effect on antigen expression, linkage with RHD, and its prevalence in African Americans.


Serologic testing was performed by standard methods. Genomic DNA was used for polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism, RH-specific exon sequencing, and RHD zygosity, and Rh-cDNA was sequenced. Samples from 32 individuals referred for serologic problems, 57 patients with sickle cell disease, and 44 donors positive for c.254C>G were investigated. Allele prevalence was determined in random African Americans.


Red blood cells from samples homozygous RHCE*ceAG/ceAG or in trans to RHCE*cE reacted variably with anti-e reagents and 17 samples from the 32 referred patients had alloanti-e in their plasma. The majority of samples with RHCE*ceAG, when tested for RHD zygosity gave discordant results between PstI-RFLP and hybrid box assay. Rare samples with 254C>G had additional allelic changes: one with c.697G (p.233Glu), three with c.733G, 941C (p.245Val, 314Ala), and two with c.307T (p.103Ser) encoding robust C antigen expression in the absence of other C-specific nucleotides. A total of 101 samples with RHCE*ceAG were encountered in 1159 randomly selected African Americans.


RHCE*ceAG (c.254G, p.85Gly) encodes a partial phenotype and the absence of the high-prevalence antigen RH59 (CEAG). The allele was present in one in 11 African Americans and is most often in cis to a RHD deletion associated with discordant RHD zygosity. To further determine clinical significance, detection of this allele should be part of routine RHCE genotyping in this population.

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