Background - As is well documented, the para-Bombay phenotype is typically characterized by the reduction or absence of ABH antigens on red blood cells but the presence of corresponding antigens in saliva. Herein, the underlying molecular mechanism of an individual with para-Bombay AB phenotype combined with two novel variants of the FUT1 gene was investigated.
Materials and methods - ABH antigens and antibodies were detected in the serum of the proband using conventional serological methods. The coding region nucleotides of the ABO, FUT1, and FUT2 genes were directly sequenced by polymerase chain reaction. Moreover, the FUT1 haploid type in the proband was analyzed by TA clone sequencing. The 3D structure of wild-type and mutant fucosyltransferases were simulated and analyzed using Phyre2 and Pymol software. Lastly, the effect of missense substitution on the function of fucosyltransferase was predicted by the Polymorphism Phenotyping algorithm (PolyPhen-2) and MutationTaster.
Results - ABH antigens were noted to be absent on the surface of red blood cells of the proband. The ABO genotype was ABO*A1.02/ABO*B.01, while the FUT2 genotype was FUT2*01/FUT2*c.357T. Interestingly, two novel missense variants (c.289G>A, p.Ala97Thr and c.575G>C, p.Arg192Pro) and one synonymous SNP (c.840G>A) were identified in the FUT1 gene. Furthermore, c.289G>A was detected in one haploid type, whereas c.575G>C and c.840G>A were discovered in another haploid type. Meanwhile, in silico analysis revealed that amino acid substitution caused by missense variants altered the partial spatial structure of the a-helices where residues 97 and 298 were located using 3D homology modeling software. Finally, both missense variants were defined as probably damaging based on PolyPhen-2 prediction.
Discussion - Two novel FUT1 variants were identified in a Chinese individual with para-Bombay AB phenotype, which can expand our understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying the para-Bombay phenotype and contribute to improving the safety of blood transfusion.
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