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      Two different molecular organizations account for the single alpha-globin gene of the alpha-thalassemia-2 genotype.

      The Journal of clinical investigation
      African Continental Ancestry Group, Asian Continental Ancestry Group, China, ethnology, Chromosome Deletion, European Continental Ancestry Group, Genes, Globins, genetics, Hemoglobin H, Humans, Thalassemia

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          The alpha-thalassemia-2 (alpha-thal-2) genotype or mild alpha-thalassemia gene consists of a single structural alpha-globin gene on the chromosome that normally bears two alpha-globin genes. We used blot hybridization to investigate variation in the molecular organization of this genotype and to determine the distributions of these variations in the world population. Two different patterns of gene organization responsible for the alpha-thal-2 genotype were found: the first was the result of a 4.2-kilobase pair deletion involving the normal 5' alpha-globin gene (leftward deletion alpha-thal-2 genotype), and the second probably the result of a crossover deletion of a DNA fragment bridging the two normal alpha-globin genes (rightward deletion alpha-thal-2- genotype). The rightward deletion was found in all 9 Black subjects, all 8 Mediterranean subjects, and 4 of 13 Chinese subjects. The leftward deletion was found in four and the nondeletion alpha-thalassemia lesion was found in five of the nine remaining Chinese subjects. It is likely that these deletions are related to specific DNA sequences that determine DNA recombinational events.

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