Multiple miscarriages in two sisters of Thai origin with the rare Pk phenotype caused by a novel nonsense mutation at the B3GALNT1 locus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


OBJECTIVES: To determine the genetic background underlying the Pk phenotype in two Thai sisters suffering from multiple spontaneous abortions.

BACKGROUND: The P antigen is carried by globoside, an abundant glycosphingolipid in the red blood cell (RBC) membrane. Inactivating mutations in the 3-β-N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase gene (B3GALNT1) give rise to the rare Pk phenotype, which lack the P and PX2 antigens. Consequently, naturally occurring anti-P may cause recurrent miscarriages following the cytotoxic attack of the globoside-rich fetal portion of the placenta.

METHODS/MATERIALS: P/P1/PX2/Pk antigens on RBCs and their corresponding antibodies were detected by haemagglutination and flow cytometry. The B3GALNT1 coding region was sequenced, and an allele-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was developed.

RESULTS: The two sisters had suffered 8 and 11 miscarriages, most of which occurred in the first trimester. Anti-P and anti-PX2 were identified in their plasmas, and the RBCs typed as P-PX2-Pk +, i.e. had the Pk phenotype. Sequencing revealed homozygosity for a nonsense mutation, c.420T>G, in B3GALNT1. This substitution introduces a premature stop codon, p.Tyr140Ter, which is predicted to abolish enzymatic activity. Screening of 384 Thai donors indicated an allele frequency of 0·13%.

CONCLUSION: We describe a novel nonsense mutation (c.420T>G) in B3GALNT1 (GLOB*01N·13), which was added to the 12 alleles already known in the GLOB system.


External organisations
  • Mahidol University
  • Region Skåne
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Hematology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-208
Number of pages7
JournalTransfusion Medicine
Issue number3
Early online date2018 Jun 6
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch

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