Restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs), using the enzymes Bgl II and Xba I in conjunction with human von Willebrand factor (vWF) cDNA probes, have been described previously. In the present study we demonstrate the localization of both genetic markers within the vWF gene. The RFLPs were used to study the segregation of alleles associated with von Willebrand's disease (vWD) type IIA in a comprehensive, affected family. Individuals of this family were tested for their bleeding time and their plasma was analyzed for vWF antigen concentration and vWF ristocetin-cofactor activity. Based on these data, the affected members were diagnosed as vWD type-IIA patients; this conclusion was confirmed by the analysis of the multimeric vWF pattern of some of the patients. It was demonstrated that both RFLPs are completely linked with the vWD type-IIA trait. From this finding, we conclude that the defect that causes the vWD type IIA is most likely due to a mutation in the vWF gene and not to a mutation in a gene involved in posttranslational processing of the vWF protein.
C L Verweij, R Quadt, E Briët, K Dubbeldam, G B van Ommen, H Pannekoek