AbstractBACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Patients with thalassemia major and intermedia show a marked variability of serum indirect bilirubin levels. In this paper we tested the hypothesis related to the variability of the glucuronidation bilirubin rate which depends on the configuration of the A(TA)nTAA motif of the UGT1*1 glucuronosyltransferase gene promoter. DESIGN AND METHODS: We studied the configuration of the A(TA)nTAA motif in 26 patients with thalassemia major and 34 with thalassemia intermedia. RESULTS: In patients with thalassemia major and in those with thalassemia intermedia significantly higher bilirubin levels were found in patients with the (TA)7/(TA)7 genotype, than in those with the (TA)7/(TA)6 or (TA)6/(TA)6 genotype. INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that the (TA)7/(TA)7 genotype, the configuration found in patients with Gilbert's syndrome, is capable of modifying the clinical phenotype of homozygous beta-thalassemia. This is an example of the role played by co-inherited modifying gene(s) on the extent of clinical heterogeneity of monogenic disorders.
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Vol. 84 No. 2 (1999): February, 1999 : Clinical Trial
Ferrata Storti Foundation, Pavia, Italy
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