Objectives To present a novel 91.5-kb deletion of the α-globin gene cluster (αα)FJ identified by genetic assay and prenatal diagnosis in a Chinese family. Subjects and Methods The proband was a 34-year-old G3P1 (Gravida 3, Para 1) female at the gestational age of 21+ weeks with a history of an edematous fetus. A routine genetic assay (reverse dot blot hybridization, RDB) was performed to detect common thalassemia mutations. Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) and single-molecule real-time technology (SMRT) were used to detect rare thalassemia mutations. Results The hematological phenotypes of the proband, her mother, elder sister, husband, daughter, and nephew were consistent with the phenotype of α-thalassemia trait. No mutations were found in these family members by RDB, except for the proband’s husband who carried an α-globin gene deletion --SEA/αα. MLPA results showed that the proband and other α-thalassemia-suspected relatives had heterozygous deletions around the POLR3K-3-463nt, HS40-178nt, and HBA-HS40-382nt probes. The 5′-breakpoint was out of probe scope and could not be determined. SMRT was performed and a 91.5-kb deletion (NC_000016.10: g.39268_130758del) in the α-globin gene cluster (αα)FJ was identified in the proband and other suspected relatives, which could explain their phenotypes. At the proband’s gestational age of 22+ weeks, an amniotic fluid sample was collected and analyzed. As only the 91.5-kb deletion (αα)FJ was identified in the fetus with RDB, MLPA, and SMRT. The proband was suggested to continue the pregnancy. Conclusion We first reported a 91.5-kb deletion (NC_000016.10: g.hg38-chr16:39268-_130758del) of the HS-40 region in the α-globin gene cluster (αα)FJ identified in a Chinese family. Since the HS-40 loss of heterozygosity in combination with the heterozygous deletion --SEA might result in Hb Bart’s hydrops fetalis, routine genetic assay, and SMRT were recommended to individuals at risk for prenatal diagnosis.
Journal: Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine