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Research Article

Met 358 to Arg mutation of alpha 1-antitrypsin associated with protein C deficiency in a patient with mild bleeding tendency.

D Vidaud, J Emmerich, M Alhenc-Gelas, J Yvart, J N Fiessinger and M Aiach

Laboratoire d'Hémostase, Hôpital Broussais, Paris, France.

Published May 1992

The molecular defect responsible for a dramatic prolongation of all standard clotting tests discovered in a 15-yr-old boy has been identified. Initial investigations revealed the presence of an activated Factor X (Factor Xa) and thrombin inhibitor which copurified with alpha 1-antitrypsin (alpha 1-AT), thereby suggesting the occurrence of an alpha 1-AT variant similar to alpha 1-AT Pittsburgh. This was confirmed by dot-blot analysis and direct sequencing after amplification by the polymerase chain reaction. A G to T transition at nucleotide 10038 results in the substitution of Met to an Arg, converting alpha 1-AT into an Arg-Ser protease inhibitor (serpin) that inhibited thrombin and Factor Xa more effectively than antithrombin III. Surprisingly, there was no bleeding history in the proband. The common mutation Z, which may explain a reduced expression of the allele bearing the Arg 358 Met mutation, was not observed in the propositus' DNA. To exclude the presence of another mutation, the coding regions and intron/exon junctions were sequenced. No other mutation was found. Recently, the patient experienced his first hemorrhagic episode at the age of 17. The level of the abnormal inhibitor had increased twofold 2 mo before. The large decrease in protein C concentration may account for the mild bleeding tendency in this case, despite the presence of the alpha 1-AT Pittsburgh mutation. An abnormal protein C pattern was observed in patient's plasma, suggesting that the circulating deficiency might be due to a deleterious effect of the abnormal inhibitor on both intracellular processing and catabolism of protein C.

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