Antithrombin p.Thr147Ala: The First Founder Mutation in People of African Origin Responsible for Inherited Antithrombin DeficiencyFunding This work was supported by the Wetenschappelijk Fonds Willy Gepts from the UZ Brussel, PI18/00598 (ISCIII y FEDER) and 19873/GERM/15 (Fundación Séneca).
Background Hereditary antithrombin deficiency is a rare autosomal-dominant disorder predisposing to recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE). To date, only two founder mutations have been described.
Objectives We investigated the antithrombin p.Thr147Ala variant, found in 12 patients of African origin. This variant is known as rs2227606 with minor allele frequency of 0.5% in Africans and absent in Europeans. A possible founder effect was investigated.
Methods Phenotypical characterization was established through immunological and functional methods, both under basal and stress conditions. Recombinant antithrombin molecules were constructed by site-directed mutagenesis and expressed in HEK-293T cells. Secreted antithrombin was purified and functionally characterized. Structural modeling was performed to predict the impact of the mutation on protein structure. A novel nanopore sequencing approach was used for haplotype investigation.
Results Ten patients experienced VTE, stroke, or obstetric complications. Antithrombin antigen levels and anti-IIa activity were normal or slightly reduced while anti-Xa activity was reduced with only one commercial assay. On crossed immunoelectrophoresis, an increase of antithrombin fractions with reduced heparin affinity was observed under high ionic strength conditions but not under physiological conditions. The recombinant p.Thr147Ala protein displayed a reduced anti-Xa activity. Structural modeling revealed that residue Thr147 forms three hydrogen bonds that are abolished when mutated to alanine. The investigated patients shared a common haplotype involving 13 SERPINC1 intragenic single nucleotide polymorphisms.
Conclusion Antithrombin p.Thr147Ala, responsible for antithrombin type II heparin binding site deficiency, is the first founder mutation reported in people of African ancestry. This study further emphasizes the limitations of commercial methods to diagnose this specific subtype.
∗ C.O. and B.M.-B. contributed equally to this work.
∗∗ K.J. and M.M.-B. contributed equally to this work.
Received: 26 May 2020
Accepted: 28 July 2020
13 September 2020 (online)
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