Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Mutations in the promoter region of the factor IX gene result in hemophilia B Leyden, which is characterized by considerable improvement in the disease after puberty. We have found that distinct nucleotide substitutions at the -6 position in the Leyden-specific (LS) region are associated with a different severity of hemophilia B. The proband (aged 2) from one family is a severe hemophiliac with factor IX activity (F.IXC) and antigen (F.IXAg) levels less than 1.0U/dl. F.IXC and F.IXAg levels in two affected uncles are approximately 30% of normal levels. The LS region was targeted for analysis because the phenotypes suggested the inheritance of a factor IX Leyden gene. An abnormal TaqI digestion pattern was found in amplified DNA from the proband, and sequencing showed a G (-6) to C transversion that was linked to the disease in the family. In another family, two brothers (aged 8 and 9) suffer from mild hemophilia with F.IXC ranging from 7 to 10 U/dl and F.IXAg from 3 to 4 U/dl. They are the only documented members of the family with a bleeding tendency. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis on amplified fragments from one of the patient's genomic DNA corresponding to the 8 exons and flanking sequences of the factor IX gene suggested a defect only in a segment from the 5′ region. This segment showed an altered TaqI digestion pattern, and sequencing demonstrated a G(-6) to A transition that was traced to the patients's mother and a grandmother. The different phenotypes associated with the G (-6) to A purine nucleotide transition compared with a G(-6) to C transversion provide evidence that this area is directly involved in the regulation of the human factor IX gene expression in vivo by binding of regulatory factors. The ability to predict that the conditions of a hemophilia B patient will improve with age has important implications for genetic counseling of the family. Therefore, the LS region should always be included when scanning the factor IX gene for mutations.
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