Determination of alpha thalassaemia phenotypes by messenger RNA analysis
Hunt DM., Higgs DR., Clegg JB., Weatherall DJ., Marsh GW.
The possibility of using alpha/beta globin messenger RNA (mRNA) ratios to distinguish between the carrier states for different forms of alpha thalassaemia has been explored. Alpha/beta globin mRNA ratios were determined in the red cells of a series of normal individuals and in members of four Cypriot families, one Thai and one Chinese family in which at least one person has haemoglobin H disease. It was found that there was a clear distinction in the ratios between normals, alpha thalassaemia 1 carriers, alpha thalassaemia 2 carriers, and those with haemoglobin H disease. This method should be a valuable addition to haematological analysis, haemoglobin synthesis and restriction mapping of DNA for the further elucidation of the genetics of alpha thalassaemia.