In the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia, thalassemia is highly common. Data on the effect of alpha globin gene variation on the concentration of iron on transfusion dependent Saudis are scanty. A total of 166 transfusions dependent β-thalassemia were included in this study to understand association between the alpha globin gene variation and concentration of iron. Using multiplex PCR, the alpha globin gene deletions were identified. Also, HBA1 and HBA2 genes were sequenced by Sanger sequencing. Saudi transfusion dependent female β-thalassemia patients with wild alpha globin genotype (αα/αα) were observed with iron level beyond the normal range. However, normal range of iron was observed in transfusion dependent Saudi female beta thalassemia patients co-inherited with double (-α3.7/-α3.7, or --Fil/αα or --MED/αα or - (α) 20.5/αα) or double heterozygosity (- -/-α3.7) alpha globin gene deletions, which is significantly (p < 0.0001) less compared to the Saudi transfused female with wild alpha globin genotype (αα/αα). The co-inheritance alpha globin gene deletions in female beta thalassemia patients were significantly lowering serum iron. Detailed studies can be taken forward to identify the molecular pathways involved in globin gene deletion as modulator.
Keywords: -α3.7 deletion; Alpha globin gene; Saudi Arabia, iron load; Thalassemia.