Haplotype Association between Haptoglobin (Hp2) and Hp Promoter SNP (A-61C) May Explain Previous Controversy of Haptoglobin and Malaria Protection
We have investigated the genetic basis for the Hp0 phenotype amongst 123 randomly selected Ghanaians. A total of 17 individuals were determined to be Hp0 phenotype, based on the classical method for Hp phenotyping of Hb-supplemented plasma. Out of the 17 Hp0 individuals, nine subjects were further classified as ahaptoglobinaemic and eight as hypohaptoglobinaemic by Western blots and double immunodiffusion. We identified three previously known base substitutions (A-55G, A-61C and T-104A) and three new ones (C-101G, T-191G and C-242T) within the 5' flanking region of the Hp gene. The A-61C base substitution significantly decreased transcriptional activity and was associated strongly with Hp2 allele and ahaptoglobinaemia. The C-101G substitution was similar in transcriptional activity to the wild-type and was associated with Hp1S allele and hypohaptoglobinaemia. The Hpdel allele seen in Asian populations was absent. We conclude that the Hp0 phenotype in Ghana has a genetic basis that differs significantly from that seen in Asia.