A case of a novel mutation in the F7 gene that results in factor VII coagulant activity (VII:c) of less than 1% and VII antigen (VII:Ag) levels of 10% is presented. DNA analysis revealed a homozygous 15-base pair (bp) in-frame insertion-type mutation at nucleotide 10554. This insertion consisted of a duplication of residues leucine (L)213 to aspartic acid (D)217 (leucine, serine, glutamic acid, histidine, and aspartic acid), probably arising by slipped mispairing between 2 copies of a direct repeat (GCGAGCACGAC) separated by 4 bp. Molecular graphic analyses showed that the insertion is located at the surface of the catalytic domain in an exposed loop stabilized by extensive salt-bridge and hydrogen bond formation at which the calcium binding site is located. The mutation probably interferes with protein folding during VII biosynthesis and/or diminishes functional activity through the loss of calcium binding. In vitro expression studies demonstrated that the levels of VII:Ag in lysates of cells transfected with wild type VII (VIIWT) were equivalent to those with mutant type VII (VIIMT), but the level of secreted VIIMT was 5% to 10% that of VIIWT. Pulse chase studies demonstrated that VIIMT did not accumulate intracellularly, and studies with inhibitors of protein degradation showed that recombinant VIIMT was partially degraded in the pre-Golgi compartment. Accordingly, only small amounts of VIIMT with undetectable procoagulant activity were secreted into conditioned media. These results demonstrate that a combination of secretion and functional defects is the mechanism whereby this insertion causes VII deficiency.
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