BACKGROUND: One branch of the RHD phylogenetic tree is represented by the weak D type 4 cluster of alleles with F223V as the primordial amino acid substitution. F223V as well as a large number of further substitutions causing D variants are located at the extracellular RhD protein vestibule, which represents the entrance to the transmembraneous channel of the RhD protein.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: RHD and RHCE nucleotide sequences were determined from genomic DNA and cDNA. D epitope patterns were established with commercial monoclonal anti-D panels.
RESULTS: The RHD alleles DOL-1 and DOL-2 had the two amino acid substitutions M170T (509T>C) and F223V (667T>G) in common. DOL-2 harbored the additional substitution L378V (1132C>G). Both alleles were observed in Africans and are probably evolutionary related. DMI carried M170I (510G>A), which differed from the DOL-typical substitution. DFW and DFL harbored the substitutions H166P (497A>C) and Y165C (494A>G). The antigen densities of DOL-1, DFL, and DFW were only moderately reduced.
CONCLUSION: DOL-1 and DOL-2 belong to the weak D type 4 cluster of RHD alleles. Together with DMI, DFL, and DFW they represent D variants with amino acid substitutions located at extracellular loops 3 or 4 lining the RhD protein vestibule. These substitutions were of minor influence on antigen density while adjacent substitutions in the transmembraneous section caused weak D antigen expression. All these D variants were partial D and alloanti-D immunizations have been observed in DOL-1, DMI, and DFL carriers. The substitution at position 170 causes partial D although located deep in the vestibule.
2009. Vol. 49, no 6, 1059-1069 p.