Transfusion. 2001 Jan;41(1):31-8.

A new h allele detected in Europe has a missense mutationin alpha(1,2)-fucosyltransferase motif II.

by Christoph Gassner

Wagner T, Vadon M, Staudacher E, Schmarda A, Gassner C, Helmberg W, Lanzer G, Flegel WA, Wagner FF.


The FUT1 gene encodes an alpha(1,2)-fucosyltransferase (H transferase), which determines the blood group H. Nonfunctional alleles of this gene, called h alleles and carrying loss-of-function mutations, are observed in the exceedingly rare Bombay phenotype. Twenty-three distinct h alleles have been characterized at the molecular level in various populations. The FUT2 (SE) gene is highly homologous to FUT1 (H:).

Study design and methods

The FUT1 gene of an Austrian proband with the Bombay phenotype was characterized by nucleotide sequencing of the full-length coding sequence. A PCR method using sequence-specific primers for FUT2 genotyping in whites was developed. The plasma alpha(1,2)-fucosyltransferase activity was determined. The distribution of the mutations underlying 24 h alleles and 7 se alleles was analyzed.


The proband carried a new h allele. Two nucleotide changes, G785A and C786A, in codon 262 of the FUT1 gene resulted in the replacement of serine by lysine. No alpha(1,2)-fucosyltransferase activity was detected in the proband’s plasma. The proband was homozygous for the seG428A allele. Six of 17 missense mutations in nonfunctional h and se alleles occurred in highly conserved fucosyltransferase motifs. No loss-of-function mutation was observed in the aminoterminal section encompassing the transmembraneous helix.


The missense mutation S262K in the FUT1 gene caused the loss of H transferase activity. The analysis of the distribution of mutations in nonfunctional FUT1 and FUT2 genes can point to functionally important domains in the H transferase.

PMID: 11161242

↗ ncbi.nlm.nih.gov