Polymorphisms near a chromosome 6q QTL area are associated with modulation of fetal hemoglobin levels in sickle cell anemia.

D. F. Wyszynski, C. T. Baldwin, M. A. Cleves, Y. Amirault, V. G. Nolan, J. J. Farrell, A. Bisbee, A. Kutlar, L. A. Farrer, M. H. Steinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


In patients with sickle cell anemia, fetal hemoglobin (HbF) concentrations vary by 2 orders of magnitude. This variance may be a result of heterogeneity in gene regulatory elements; accordingly, we searched for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that might identify this variation. More than 180 SNPs were studied in 38 genes in 280 sickle cell anemia patients. The strongest association with HbF was found with SNPs near a QTL previously localized on chromosome 6q22.3-q23.2. Initially, two SNPs were identified in intergenic portions of this QTL and were associated with about a 20% difference in percent HbF. Subsequently, we genotyped 44 additional SNPs in the genomic region between 136.1 Mb and 137.5 Mb on chromosome 6q. Twelve SNPs, associated with a 20%-30% difference in HbF concentrations, were located in the introns of four genes, PDE7B, MAP7, MAP3K5 and PEX7. In K562 cells, the p38-MAPK pathway has been associated with the activation of gamma-globin gene expression by histone deacetylase inhibitors. Haplotypes C-T-T-T in MAP7 and T-C-C in PEX7 were significantly associated with increases in concentration of HbF, both showing strong dominance. Genetic elements abutting the 6q22.3-q23.2 QTL, may harbor trans-acting elements that help modulate baseline HbF level in sickle cell anemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-33
Number of pages11
JournalCellular and molecular biology (Noisy-le-Grand, France)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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