Skip to comments.Newly discovered blood protein solves 60-year-old riddle
Posted on 04/10/2013 5:21:22 PM PDT by neverdem
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have discovered a new protein that controls the presence of the Vel blood group antigen on our red blood cells. The discovery makes it possible to use simple DNA testing to find blood donors for patients who lack the Vel antigen and need a blood transfusion.
Because there has not previously been any simple way to find these rare donors, there is a global shortage of Vel-negative blood. The largest known accumulation of this type of blood donor is found in the Swedish county of Västerbotten, which exports Vel-negative blood all over the world.
The Vel blood group was first described in 1952, when American doctors discovered a patient who developed serious complications from blood transfusions from normal donors. The patient lacked a previously unknown blood group antigen, which was named Vel. It has long been known that around one in 1 000 people lack the Vel antigen, but the molecule that carries it has been a mystery.
Lund University researchers Jill Storry, Magnus Jöud, Björn Nilsson and Martin L. Olsson and their colleagues have now discovered that the presence of the Vel antigen on our red blood cells is controlled by a previously unknown protein (SMIM1) that is not carried by those who lack the Vel antigen. The discovery has been published in the renowned journal Nature Genetics.
The findings have major clinical significance, according to Professor Martin L. Olsson, a consultant in transfusion medicine.
"Until now there has not been a simple way to find these blood donors and there is therefore a major shortage of Vel-negative blood. Now we can identify these donors with simple DNA tests. From having previously only had access to one such donor in our region, there are now three and further screening is being carried out", says Professor Olsson.
Two research groups with completely different focuses have collaborated to solve the 60-year-old riddle, explains Reader Björn Nilsson, who has led the work together with Reader Jill Storry and Professor Olsson.
"Many researchers have tried to find the Vel molecule. We realised that it might be possible to find it using advanced DNA analysis techniques. Our idea proved to be correct and we found that the Vel blood group is inactivated in exactly the same way for all Vel-negative individuals", says Björn Nilsson.
Another interesting aspect is that the new protein is unlike any previously known protein and appears to be present on the red blood cells of other species as well.
"Interestingly, the new protein, SMIM1, is reminiscent of other molecules used by malaria parasites to infect humans. It is therefore possible that SMIM1 could be a long-sought malaria receptor on the red blood cells", says Jill Storry.
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I don't know how you get tested for that here, but if you fit the profile you might ask your doctor about it.
Not with this title or any useful keywords. Can you find it?
If your family tree includes one or more reindeer...
you could be a Sa'ami.
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
Thanks neverdem.The Vel blood group was first described in 1952, when American doctors discovered a patient who developed serious complications from blood transfusions from normal donors. The patient lacked a previously unknown blood group antigen, which was named Vel. It has long been known that around one in 1 000 people lack the Vel antigen...To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
It’s good to know that about the Sa’ami. My maternal grandmother was from northern Norway. Photographs of her look eerily like my mother-in-law. Mrs. VanShuyten is from Japan.
There's always been a question about who those people were since the DNA is pretty much hidden in an overwhelming standard East Asian package ~
Not all that long ago they pinned the Sa'ami down to WESTERN EUROPE ~ just like most Europeans ~ however, the Sa'ami have a marker gene sequence that makes their presence in other DNA very clear. The main groups to date are the Chippewa/Ojibway, Iroquois, Cherokee (anybody could have guessed those three), Berber, Fulbe, and, lo and behold, the Yakuts Sakha ~ they live today in Yakutia in Russian Siberia. This is a very different sort of Central/Eastern Asian group ~ they'd had writing at one time and kept the books. A Russian archaeologist deciphered the text and the language about 10 years back and found they'd earlier lived in India as well ~ however, this is the group that has a language and cultural symbols closest to the modern Japanese.
Japan was invaded in the mid 500's by a group speaking the now dominant language there. The islands were united into a single nation about 900 years later after a very lengthy war. Much history was lost.
The Sa'ami definitely left marks on East Asia ~ but as far as East Asians making marks on the Sa'ami that's no moreso than your average 5% found all over Europe.
There are some Sa'ami who definitely look East Asian but that's been determined to be a holdover from our common Cro-Magnon ancestry. Remember, white folk, Chinese and a whole bunch of in-betweeners all over Asia have a common Cro-magnon ancestry from 50,000 to 35,000 years ago!
You can find a recent news story on the finding that a single gene controls hair folicle shape/size, tooth shape, sweat gland number and distribution AND, lo and behold, breast size. Humans have one type or the other ~ East Asians all have the one with dark thick hair, flat teeth, more sweat glands and smaller beast size.
You will find a world of information by looking up BLOOD TYPE VEL. That's what I did and found my old buddies in Sweden, who use one of my ethnic groups as a test bed for medical studies, have 250 members lined up to provide blood on a worldwide basis for folks with this problem.
They all live just East of Sweden's Lappland province ~ so I'd guess they are probably, by language, Northern Sa'ami.
If you have a laplander or Sa'ami ancestor you might well be concerned with your 15X as great chance of having this VEL blood type. I'm getting mine tested