• 1 Department of Paediatrics, University Hospital, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
PMID: 9031421


The spectrum of beta-thalassemia mutations in Malays in Singapore and Kelantan (Northeast Malaysia) was studied. Allele specific priming was used to determine the mutations in beta-carriers at -28, Codon 17, IVSI #1, IVSI #5, Codon 41-42 and IVSII #654 along the beta-globin gene. The most common structural hemoglobin variant in Southeast Asia, Hb E, was detected by DNA amplification with restriction enzyme (Mnl1) analysis. Direct genomic sequencing was carried out to detect the beta-mutations uncharacterized by allele-specific priming. The most prevalent beta-mutations in Singaporean Malays were IVSI #5 (45.83%) followed by Hb E (20.83%), codon 15 (12.5%) and IVSI #1 and IVSII #654 at 4.17% each. In contrast, the distribution of the beta-mutations in Kelantan Malays differed, with Hb E as the most common mutation (39.29%) followed by IVSI #5 (17.86%), codon 41-42 (14.29%), codon 19 (10.71%) and codon 17 (3.57%). The beta-mutations in Kelantan Malays follow closely the distribution of beta-mutations in Thais and Malays of Southern Thailand and Malays of West Malaysia. The AAC-->AGC base substitution in codon 19 has been detected only in these populations. The spectrum of beta-mutations in the Singaporean Malays is more similar to those reported in Indonesia with the beta-mutation at codon 15 (TGG-->TAG) present in both populations. The characterization of beta-mutations in Singaporean and Kelantan Malays will facilitate the establishment of effective prenatal diagnosis programs for beta-thalassemia major in this ethnic group.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.