Stanley Schrier

Publication Details

  • THALASSEMIA - PATHOPHYSIOLOGY OF RED-CELL CHANGES ANNUAL REVIEW OF MEDICINE Schrier, S. L. 1994; 45: 211-218

    Abstract:

    The thalassemias are extremely heterogeneous in terms of their clinical severity, and their underlying pathophysiology relates directly to the extent of accumulation of excess unmatched globin chains: alpha in beta thalassemia and beta in the alpha thalassemias. However, the accumulation of each separate globin chain affects red cell membrane material properties and the state of red cell hydration very differently. These observations presumably account for the varying extent of ineffective erythropoiesis and peripheral blood hemolysis in the major variants of thalassemia. The thalassemias are a worldwide group of inherited disorders of globin-chain synthesis that developed in multiple geographic regions, probably because they provided partial protection against malaria. In normal assembly of adult hemoglobin (HbA-alpha 2 beta 2), alpha and beta globin are synthesized by genes on different chromosomes, whereas heme is synthesized primarily on mitochondria. The synthesis of these chains is very tightly coordinated so that the ratio of alpha globin to beta globin (beta in this case including the beta-like globins delta and gamma) is normally 1 +/- 0.05. Furthermore, specific erythroid proteases are designed to attack and destroy excess alpha or beta globin chains, demonstrating the deleterious impact of the accumulation of excess unmatched globin chains. In beta thalassemia, production of beta globin decreases and excess alpha globin accumulates. In alpha thalassemia, on the other hand, this process occurs in reverse. Perhaps in these disorders more than any others, molecular biologists have documented the deletional and transcriptional events leading to diminished synthesis of specific classes of globin chains.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

    View details for Web of Science ID A1994NF16800018

    View details for PubMedID 8198378

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