Thalassemias (α, β, γ, δ, δβ, and εγδβ) are the most common genetic disorders worldwide and constitute a heterogeneous group of hereditary diseases characterized by the deficient synthesis of one or more hemoglobin (Hb) chain(s). This leads to the accumulation of unstable non-thalassemic Hb chains, which precipitate and cause intramedullary destruction of erythroid precursors and premature lysis of red blood cells (RBC) in the peripheral blood. Non-thalassemic Hbs display high oxygen affinity and no cooperativity. Thalassemias result from many different genetic and molecular defects leading to either severe or clinically silent hematologic phenotypes. Thalassemias α and β are particularly diffused in the regions spanning from the Mediterranean basin through the Middle East, Indian subcontinent, Burma, Southeast Asia, Melanesia, and the Pacific Islands, whereas δβ-thalassemia is prevalent in some Mediterranean regions including Italy, Greece, and Turkey. Although in the world thalassemia and malaria areas overlap apparently, the RBC protection against malaria parasites is openly debated. Here, we provide an overview of the historical, geographic, genetic, structural, and molecular pathophysiological aspects of thalassemias. Moreover, attention has been paid to molecular and epigenetic pathways regulating globin gene expression and globin switching. Challenges of conventional standard treatments, including RBC transfusions and iron chelation therapy, splenectomy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation from normal donors are reported. Finally, the progress made by rapidly evolving fields of gene therapy and gene editing strategies, already in pre-clinical and clinical evaluation, and future challenges as novel curative treatments for thalassemia are discussed.

De Simone, G., Quattrocchi, A., Mancini, B., di Masi, A., Nervi, C., & Ascenzi, P. (2022). Thalassemias: from gene to therapy. MOLECULAR ASPECTS OF MEDICINE, 84, 101028 [10.1016/j.mam.2021.101028].

Thalassemias: from gene to therapy

di Masi A.
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Ascenzi P.
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
2022

Abstract

Thalassemias (α, β, γ, δ, δβ, and εγδβ) are the most common genetic disorders worldwide and constitute a heterogeneous group of hereditary diseases characterized by the deficient synthesis of one or more hemoglobin (Hb) chain(s). This leads to the accumulation of unstable non-thalassemic Hb chains, which precipitate and cause intramedullary destruction of erythroid precursors and premature lysis of red blood cells (RBC) in the peripheral blood. Non-thalassemic Hbs display high oxygen affinity and no cooperativity. Thalassemias result from many different genetic and molecular defects leading to either severe or clinically silent hematologic phenotypes. Thalassemias α and β are particularly diffused in the regions spanning from the Mediterranean basin through the Middle East, Indian subcontinent, Burma, Southeast Asia, Melanesia, and the Pacific Islands, whereas δβ-thalassemia is prevalent in some Mediterranean regions including Italy, Greece, and Turkey. Although in the world thalassemia and malaria areas overlap apparently, the RBC protection against malaria parasites is openly debated. Here, we provide an overview of the historical, geographic, genetic, structural, and molecular pathophysiological aspects of thalassemias. Moreover, attention has been paid to molecular and epigenetic pathways regulating globin gene expression and globin switching. Challenges of conventional standard treatments, including RBC transfusions and iron chelation therapy, splenectomy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation from normal donors are reported. Finally, the progress made by rapidly evolving fields of gene therapy and gene editing strategies, already in pre-clinical and clinical evaluation, and future challenges as novel curative treatments for thalassemia are discussed.
De Simone, G., Quattrocchi, A., Mancini, B., di Masi, A., Nervi, C., & Ascenzi, P. (2022). Thalassemias: from gene to therapy. MOLECULAR ASPECTS OF MEDICINE, 84, 101028 [10.1016/j.mam.2021.101028].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11590/398762
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