The Hemoglobin Polymorphism in Sardinian Goats: Nucleotide Sequence and Frequency of ßA, ßD, ßD-Malta, and ßE Globin Genes

  • M. Pirastru
  • M. Palici Di Suni
  • G. M. Vacca
  • P. Franceschi
  • B. Masala
  • L. Manca


As in most vertebrates, the goat α-globin gene locus is duplicated though producing Iα and IIα globin chains that differ in three amino acid residues [[1]–[3]]. As the result of an unusual evolutionary history, however, a goat (β-globin gene cluster consists of 12 genes organized as a triplicated four-gene set located on chromosome 7: 5’-εIII-ψβXCIIIIV-ψβYAVVI-ψβZF-3’[[4]-[6]]. The βA-globin gene is expressed in adult animals, whereas βF and βC genes are expressed in the fetus and in juveniles up to 6 months of age, respectively [[7]]. During the first year of postnatal life, the synthesis of pre-adult βC-globin is supplanted by the synthesis of adult βA. The βC→βA switch is reversible and the reactivation of the βC synthesis, at the expense of βA, can be induced by anemia, hypoxia, or the administration of erythropoietin [[1],[8]]. Due to this unusual feature, which is also common in sheep hemoglobin (Hb) type A and in Sardinian mouflon [[5], [7], [9], [10]], the organization of globin genes, the nucleotide sequence, and the evolution of goat and sheep globin genes have been extensively studied [[1]–[2], [11]–[13]].


Globin Gene Globin Chain Chain Variant Globin Locus Globin Gene Cluster 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Pirastru
    • 1
  • M. Palici Di Suni
    • 1
  • G. M. Vacca
    • 2
  • P. Franceschi
    • 3
  • B. Masala
    • 1
  • L. Manca
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Phisiological, Biochemical and Cell SciencesUniversity of SassariSassariItaly
  2. 2.Dept. of Animal BiologyUniversity of SassariSassariItaly
  3. 3.CEVARENUniversity of CorteCorteFrance

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