Genetics of Iranian Alpha-Thalassemia Patients: A Comprehensive Original Study

  • Bijan Keikhaei
  • Pejman Slehi-fard
  • Gholamreza Shariati
  • Abbas Khosravi
Original Article


Alpha thalassemia is the most prevalent monogenic gene disorder in the world, especially in Mediterranean countries. In the current hematological phenotype of patients with different genotypes, the effects of missense mutations on the protein function and also stability were evaluated in a large cohort study. A total of 1,560 subjects were enrolled in the study and divided into two groups: 259 normal subjects; and 1301 alpha-thalassemia carriers. Genomic DNA was extracted and analyzed using ARMS PCR, Multiplex Gap, and direct sequencing. The effects of single nucleotide change on the protein function and stability were predicted by freely available databases of human polymorphisms. Sixty-three different genotypes were seen in the patients. The more prevalent was heterozygote form of −α3.7 (41.4%) followed by −α3.7 homozygote (11.6%) and −MED (3.8%). The significant differences were seen in mean hemoglobin level [F = 20.5, p < 0.001] between the Alpha-globin genotypes, when adjusted for gender. Moreover, 28 different mutations were found in our study. A significant relationship was seen between ethnicity and the alpha-globin mutation frequency χ2 (df;8) = 38.36, p < 0.0001). Different genotypes could display as different phenotypes. The mutation frequency distributions in our region are different from those of other parts of Iran. Significant differences are seen in the spectrum of mutation frequency among various ethnicities. Finally, some missense mutations might not have considerable effect on the proteins, and they could be neutral mutations.


Alpha thalassemia Genotype Phenotype Southwest of Iran 



The authors wish to thank all our colleagues in Shafa Hospital, Ahvaz, Iran.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared no conflict of interest.

Ethical Standards

All procedures have been approved by the appropriate ethics committee and have therefore been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was signed prior to participation in the study.

Supplementary material

10528_2018_9857_MOESM1_ESM.docx (11 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 11 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Center for Thalassemia and Hemoglobinopathy, Health InstituteAhvaz Jundishapur University of Medical SciencesAhvazIran
  2. 2.Narges Genetic & PND LaboratoryAhvazIran
  3. 3.Department of Medical Genetic, Faculty of MedicineAhvaz Jundishapur University of Medical SciencesAhvazIran
  4. 4.Transfusion Research CenterHigh Institute for Research and Education in Transfusion MedicineTehranIran
  5. 5.Hematopoietic Stem Cell Research CenterShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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