Hereditary xerocytosis (HX) is a rare, autosomal dominant congenital hemolytic anemia (CHA) characterized by erythrocyte dehydration with presentation of various degrees of hemolytic anemia. HX is often misdiagnosed as hereditary spherocytosis or other CHA. Here we report three cases of suspected HX and one case of HX associated with β-thalassemia. Sanger method was used for sequencing cDNA of the PIEZO1 gene. Variants were evaluated for potential pathogenicity by MutationTaster, PROVEAN, PolyPhen-2 and M-CAP software, and by molecular modeling. Four different variants in the PIEZO1 gene were found, including three substitutions (p.D669H, p.D1566G, p.T1732 M) and one deletion (p.745delQ). In addition, in the patient with the p.T1732 M variant we detected a 12-nucleotide deletion in the β-globin gene leading to a deletion of amino acids 62AHGK65. The joint presence of mutations in two different genes connected with erythrocytes markedly aggravated the presentation of the disease. Bioinformatic analysis and molecular modeling strongly indicated likely deleterious effects of all four PIEZO1 variants, but co-segregation analysis showed that the p.D1566G substitution is in fact non-pathogenic. Identification of causative mutations should improve the diagnosis and management of HX and provide a new insight into the molecular basis of this complex red blood cell abnormality.
Keywords: Hemolytic anemia; Hereditary xerocytosis; Molecular modeling; PIEZO1 gene.
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