Source:  Thalassemia    Tag:  hba2 thalassemia
Alpha (α) thalassemias
The α thalassemias involve the genes HBA1and HBA2, inherited in a Mendelian recessive fashion. There are two gene loci and so four alleles. It is also connected to the deletion of the 16p chromosome. α thalassemias result in decreased alpha-globin production, therefore fewer alpha-globin chains are produced, resulting in an excess of β chains in adults and excess γ chains in newborns. The excess β chains form unstable tetramers (called Hemoglobin H or HbH of 4 beta chains) which have abnormal oxygen dissociation curves.
Beta (β) thalassemias
Beta thalassemias are due to mutations in the HBB gene on chromosome 11 , also inherited in an autosomal-recessive fashion. The severity of the disease depends on the nature of the mutation. Mutations are characterized as (βo or β thalassemia major) if they prevent any formation of β chains (which is the most severe form of β thalassemia); they are characterized as (β+ or β thalassemia intermedia) if they allow some β chain formation to occur. In either case there is a relative excess of α chains, but these do not form tetramers: rather, they bind to the red blood cell membranes, producing membrane damage, and at high concentrations they form toxic aggregates.
Delta (δ) thalassemia
As well as alpha and beta chains being present in hemoglobin about 3% of adult hemoglobin is made of alpha and delta chains. Just as with beta thalassemia, mutations can occur which affect the ability of this gene to produce delta chains.