Relative and absolute quantification of aberrant and normal splice variants in hbbivsi−110 (G > a) β-thalassemia

Petros Patsali, Panayiota Papasavva, Soteroulla Christou, Maria Sitarou, Michael N. Antoniou, Carsten W. Lederer*, Marina Kleanthous

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The β-thalassemias are an increasing challenge to health systems worldwide, caused by absent or reduced β-globin (HBB) production. Of particular frequency in many Western countries is HBBIVSI−110(G > A) β-thalassemia (HGVS name: HBB:c.93-21G > A). Its underlying mutation creates an abnormal splice acceptor site in the HBB gene, and while partially retaining normal splicing of HBB, it severely reduces HBB protein expression from the mutant locus and HBB loci in trans. For the assessment of the underlying mechanisms and of therapies targeting β-thalassemia, accurate quantification of aberrant and normal HBB mRNA is essential, but to date, has only been performed by approximate methods. To address this shortcoming, we have developed an accurate, duplex reverse-transcription quantitative PCR assay for the assessment of the ratio and absolute quantities of normal and aberrant mRNA species as a tool for basic and translational research of HBBIVSI−110(G > A) β-thalassemia. The method was employed here to determine mRNA ratios and quantities in blood and primary cell culture samples and correlate them with HBB protein levels. Moreover, with its immediate utility for β-thalassemia and the mutation in hand, the approach can readily be adopted for analysis of alternative splicing or for quantitative assays of any disease-causing mutation that interferes with normal splicing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6671
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2020


  • Absolute quantification
  • Duplex quantitative PCR
  • Splice defect
  • Splicing
  • Transcript variants
  • β-thalassemia


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