Molecular characterization of hemoglobin C in Sicily

M. Travi, L. Cremonesi, P. Primignani, S. Di Benedetto, R. Testa, G. Schiliro, M. Ferrari

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Analysis of polymorphisms of the β-globin gene cluster was performed on 12 families and on one unrelated individual of Sicilian origin who carried hemoglobin C (Hb C). Two different haplotypes were found in association with β(C) Sicilian alleles, corresponding to haplotypes I and II previously described in American blacks. In our population, the more frequent one (haplotype I) was linked to the lack of a polymorphic Hpal site 3' to the β gene (13.0-kb fragment), similarly to haplotype I in blacks, while the less frequent one was linked to a 7.0-kb Hpal fragment attributable to a site that had never been previously described in linkage with β(C) alleles. In Italy, these two haplotypes have been found in rare cases in association with β(A) alleles. These findings provide new insights into the origin of Hb C present in Sicily, suggesting that (1) the β(C) mutation detected in Sicily derived from African black chromosomes and does not represent a new mutation; and (2) Hb C may have originated either by multiple mutational events on separate chromosomes or by mutation in the Hpal site 3' to the β gene in a pre-existing β(C) choromosome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-8
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Hematology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • β-globin gene cluster
  • DNA polymorphisms
  • haplotypes
  • Hb C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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