The Fy(x) phenotype is associated with a missense mutation in the Fy(b) allele predicting Arg89Cys in the Duffy glycoprotein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The molecular basis of the three major alleles (Fy(a)/Fy(b)/Fy) of the Duffy (FY) blood group system has recently been established but the Fy(x) phenotype associated with weak expression of the Fy(b) and other FY antigens is poorly understood. In the Fy(x) genes of five unrelated British and Swedish donors with the Fy(a+b+weak) phenotype we found two missense mutations predicting amino acid changes Arg89Cys and Ala100Thr in the FY glycoprotein. The same mutations were found in two Fy(a-b+weak) samples from individuals of Swedish and Algerian origin. Their red blood cells showed a marked decrease in Fy(b), Fy3 and Fy6 expression measured by routine serology and flow cytometry. The rare FY genotypes Fy(x)Fy(x) and Fy(x)Fy were confirmed by family studies and DNA sequencing. Screening by allele-specific primer PCR (ASP-PCR) for these mutations among 100 Caucasian and 100 Black random blood donors indicated allele frequencies of 2.5% and 0% respectively. Ala100Thr alone was present in 33% of the Caucasians (but none of the Blacks) with no weakening of FY expression. A novel allele at the FY locus associated with the Fy(x) phenotype was studied. Mistyping of this weak Fy(b) antigen in clinical transfusion medicine may lead to delayed haemolytic transfusion reactions in immunized patients. A potential role for genomic typing is proposed.


  • Martin L Olsson
  • J S Smythe
  • Carola Hansson
  • J Poole
  • G Mallinson
  • J Jones
  • N D Avent
  • G Daniels
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Hematology


  • Duffy, blood groups, polymerase chain reaction, genotype, phenotype, allele
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1184-1191
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Publication categoryResearch