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UTHealth, Swedish researchers uncover mystery in blood clotting disorder
Date:8/27/2013

Genes make proteins that do everything from giving cells shape and structure to helping carry out biological processes. To make the proteins, genes go through a process called alternative splicing that creates coded portions, called exons. The researchers discovered that a mutation in exon 13 of the coagulation FV gene caused a short form of the protein due to changes in the splicing of the exons. That FV-Short protein was unexpectedly found to form a complex in blood with tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI), a protein that inhibits coagulation of the blood. An overabundance of the combined FV-Short/TFPI in the bloodstream keeps the blood from clotting in the affected family members. Other researchers have been looking at ways to inhibit TFPI, which could lead to a treatment for this family's clotting disorder.

What Milewicz called traditional genetics and "old-fashioned biochemistry" by lead co-author Lisa Vincent, Ph.D., led to the discovery of the FV-short protein in the blood of affected family members.

Dahlbӓck's work determined how the FV-Short was causing the problems with clotting the blood. Milewicz said studying this family with a rare blood disorder has provided further insight into how the blood clots.

"We knew there was something wrong with these patients' FV, but proving it required discovering unique properties of FV in coagulation," Vincent said. "After many trials and tribulations, our true success is finally being able to provide an answer to the family about their medical issues."


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Contact: Deborah Lake
deborah.m.lake@uth.tmc.edu
713-500-3304
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Source:Eurekalert

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