Microsatellite and Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in the β-Globin Locus Control Region-Hypersensitive Site 2: Specificity of Tunisian β(S) Chromosomes.

Abstract : The diversity of sickle cell disease severity is attributed to several cis acting factors, among them the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and (AT) rich region in the β-locus control region (β-LCR). This contains five DNase I hypersensitive sites (HS) located 6 to 22 kb upstream to the ϵ gene. The most important of these is the HS2 (5' β-LCR-HS2), characterized by the presence of three different SNPs and a microsatellite region known to be in association with β(S) chromosomes in various populations. The aim of this study was to present the molecular investigation of the 5' β-LCR-HS2 site in normal and sickle cell disease individuals in order to determine if there is any correlation or specificity between these molecular markers, the β(S) Tunisian chromosomes and phenotypical expression of sickle cell disease. One hundred and twenty-four chromosomes from Tunisian individuals (49 β(S) carriers and 13 normal individuals) were screened by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing for the polymorphic short tandem microsatellite repeats (AT)(X)N(12)(AT)(Y) and the three SNPs (rs7119428, rs9736333 and rs60240093) of the 5' β-LCR-HS2. Twelve configurations of the microsatellite motif were found with an ancestral configuration elaborated by ClustalW software. Normal and mutated alleles were observed at the homozygous and heterozygous states for the three SNPs. Correlation between microsatellites and SNPs suggests that mutant SNP alleles were mainly associated, in the homozygous sickle cell disease phenotype, with the (AT)(8)N(12)GT(AT)(7) configuration, whereas, normal SNP alleles were associated with the (AT)(X)N(12)(AT)(11) configurations in normal β(A) chromosomes. The correlation of these various configurations with Hb F expression was also investigated. The principal component analysis (PCA) showed the correlation between the homozygous sickle cell disease phenotype, mutated SNP alleles and the Benin microsatellite configuration (AT)(8)N(12)GT(AT)(7), which confirmed the specificity of this configuration to the β(S) chromosomes. In addition, the observed high level of Hb F (14.6%) could play a protective role against Hb S to justify the modulation of sickle cell disease severity within the Benin haplotype compared to the other haplotypes. This study highlights the fact that the β-LCR-HS2 could be a genetic marker to identify the ethnic Tunisian β(S) chromosomes and facilitate the molecular diagnosis of sickle cell disease.
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Maha Ben Mustapha, Imen Moumni, Amine Zorai, Kaïs Douzi, Abderraouf Ghanem, et al.. Microsatellite and Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in the β-Globin Locus Control Region-Hypersensitive Site 2: Specificity of Tunisian β(S) Chromosomes.. Hemoglobin, Informa Healthcare, 2012, epub ahead of print. ⟨10.3109/03630269.2012.721432⟩. ⟨pasteur-00750938⟩

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