We studied a family in which the proband, a 13-year-old boy, had unmeasurable plasma levels of coagulation factor V antigen and activity. Clinical symptoms were severe, with several episodes of haemorrhages in the mucosal tracts (gastrointestinal, nose and urinary) and recurrent haemarthroses that caused permanent arthropathy. Sequence analysis of the factor V gene demonstrated the presence of a novel 2 base pair (bp) homozygous deletion in exon 13 at positions 2833-2834. This mutation, present in the heterozygous state in the asymptomatic mother and absent in the healthy brother, introduced a frameshift and a premature stop at codon 900. This would predict the synthesis of a truncated factor V molecule, lacking part of the B domain and the complete light chain. Because of the existence of a surveillance mechanism that selectively recognizes and degrades mRNA molecules carrying premature termination codons, we analysed the relative abundance of mutant vs. wild-type mRNA molecules in the platelets of the heterozygous proband's mother. The mutant mRNA was significantly reduced in amount (mutant/wild-type ratio 0·35). This is the first reported mutation in the factor V gene causing severe factor V deficiency, the effect of which was quantitatively analysed at mRNA level.
- Factor V deficiency
- Inherited coagulation disorders
- mRNA degradation
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