The molecular basis of the Rhesus antigen Ew

Transfusion. 2004 Mar;44(3):407-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2004.00655.x.


Background: The Rhesus antigen Ew (ISBT designation 004 011) was first described in 1955. It is defined by a specific antibody, but its molecular genetic basis has not yet been resolved.

Study design and methods: Two individuals serologically characterized to express the rare Rhesus antigen Ew were analyzed by sequencing of all 10 exons of the RHCE gene.

Results: A nucleotide exchange at position 500 (T500A) resulting in a Met167Lys amino acid substitution was found in both individuals. Moreover, we show that an individual carrying the Ew antigen is capable to produce an alloantibody against the wild-type E antigen.

Conclusion: The single-point mutation T500A in exon 4 of the RHCE gene is a molecular basis of the rare Rhesus antigen Ew.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Substitution
  • Blood Proteins / genetics*
  • Exons
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Point Mutation*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Rh-Hr Blood-Group System / genetics*


  • Blood Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • RHCE protein, human
  • Rh-Hr Blood-Group System