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We have identified and characterized a novel beta-globin gene deletion mutation in a family of Afghan ancestry. The proband was a 10-year-old transfusion-dependent female with the phenotype of beta-thalassemia major (beta-TM). DNA sequencing of the beta-globin gene showed no abnormalities. Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) showed reduced/absent probe height of the probe covering the 5' end of the beta-globin gene indicating a possible deletion. Gap-polymerase chain reaction (gap-PCR) produced junctional fragments and direct sequencing of the product revealed that the 5' breakpoint was 478 nucleotides upstream of the Cap site and the 3' breakpoint was in the second exon of the beta-globin gene, giving a deletion size of 909 bp. The proband was homozygous and the parents were heterozygous for the deletion. This is the first report of a large beta-thalassemia (beta-thal) deletion mutation in this ethnic group.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





110 - 114


Adult, Afghanistan, Child, DNA Mutational Analysis, Female, Gene Deletion, Genotype, Humans, Male, beta-Globins, beta-Thalassemia