In 1993, we described an English family with beta-thalassaemia that was not linked to the beta-globin locus. Whole genome sequence analyses revealed potential causative mutations in 15 different genes, of which 4 were consistently and uniquely associated with the phenotype in all 7 affected family members, also confirmed by genetic linkage analysis. Of the 4 genes, which are present in a centromeric region of chromosome 1, ASH1L was proposed as causative through functional mRNA knock-down and chromatin-immunoprecipitation studies in human erythroid progenitor cells. Our data suggest a putative role for ASH1L (Trithorax protein) in the regulation of globin genes.
- Trithorax protein