Author(s): Vasseur C, Pissard S, DominguesHamdi E, Marden MC, Galactros F,
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Abstract β-Thalassemias are characterized by an imbalance of globin chains with an excess of α-chains which precipitates in erythroid precursors and red blood cells (RBCs) leading to inefficient erythropoiesis. The severity of the disease correlates with the amount of unpaired α-chains.Our goal was to develop a simple test for evaluation of the free α-hemoglobin pool present in RBC lysates. Alpha-Hemoglobin Stabilizing Protein (AHSP), the chaperone of α-Hb, was used to trap excess a-Hb. A recombinant GST-AHSP fusion protein was bound to an affinity micro-column and then incubated with hemolysates of patients. After washing, the α-Hb was quantified by spectrophotometry in the elution fraction. This assay was applied to 54 patients: 28 without apparent Hb disorder, 20 β-thalassemic and 6 α-thalassemic. The average value of free α-Hb pool was 93 ± 21 ppm (ng of free α-Hb per mg of Hb subunits)in patients without Hb disorder, while it varies from 119 to 1,756 ppm, in β-thalassemic patients and correlated with genotype. In contrast,the value of the free α-Hb pool was decreased in α-thalassemic patients (65 ± 26 ppm). This assay may help to characterize β-thalassemia phenotypes and to follow the evolution of the globin chain imbalance(α/β+γ ratio) in response to treatment.
This article was published in Am J Hematol
and referenced in Journal of Molecular Biomarkers & Diagnosis