Background: AnWj is a high-incidence blood group antigen associated with three clinical disorders: lymphoid malignancies, immunologic disorders, and autoimmune hemolytic anemia. The aim of this study was to determine the genetic basis of an inherited AnWj-negative phenotype.
Methods: We identified a consanguineous family with two AnWj-negative siblings and 4 additional AnWj-negative individuals without known familial relationship to the index family. We performed exome sequencing in search for rare homozygous variants shared by the two AnWj-negative siblings of the index family and searched for these variants in the four non-related AnWj-negative individuals.
Results: Exome sequencing revealed seven candidate genes that showed complete segregation in the index family and for which the two AnWj-negative siblings were homozygous. However, the four additional non-related AnWj-negative subjects were homozygous for only one of these variants, rs114851602 (R320Q) in the SMYD1 gene. Considering the frequency of the minor allele, the chance of randomly finding 4 consecutive such individuals is 2.56 × 10-18 .
Conclusion: We present genetic and statistical evidence that the R320Q substitution in SMYD1 underlies an inherited form of the AnWj-negative blood group phenotype. The mechanism by which the mutation leads to this phenotype remains to be determined.
Keywords: AnWj; R320Q; SMYD1; blood group antigen; exome sequencing; hematopoiesis; lymphoproliferative diseases; red cell disorders.
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.