SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Background

The numerous antigens in the Kell blood group system result from missense nucleotide changes in KEL. Antibodies to antigens in this system can be clinically important. We describe six probands whose plasma contained antibodies to high-prevalence Kell antigens and discuss their relationship.

Study Design and Methods

Polymerase chain reaction amplification, direct sequencing, restriction fragment length polymorphism assays, hemagglutination, flow cytometry, and protein modeling were performed by standard methods.

Results

Proband 1 (KUCI) and her serologically compatible sister were heterozygous for a nucleotide change in Exon 11 (KEL*1271C/T; Ala424Val). Proband 2 (KANT) was heterozygous for KEL*1283G/T (Arg428Leu) and KEL*1216C/T (Arg406Stop) in Exon 11. Red blood cells (RBCs) from Proband 1 and her sister were not agglutinated by plasma from Proband 2; however, RBCs from Proband 2 were agglutinated by plasma from Proband 1. Probands 3, 4, 5, and 6 had the KEL*1391C>T change associated with the previously reported KETI– phenotype. Proband 5 was also homozygous for KEL*905T>C encoding the K11–K17+ phenotype. Hemagglutination studies revealed an association between KUCI, KANT, KETI, and K11. Protein modeling indicated that whereas Ala424 and Arg428 are clustered, Val302 and Thr464 are not.

Conclusion

Ala424 in the Kell glycoprotein is associated with the high-prevalence Kell antigen, KUCI (ISBT 006032), which is detected by the antibody of Proband 1. Arg428 is associated with the high-prevalence Kell antigen, KANT (ISBT 006033). The association between KUCI, KANT, KETI, and K11 and the results of protein modeling are discussed.