Congenital Prothrombin Deficiency

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Prothrombin deficiency is among the rarest inherited coagulation disorders, with a prevalence of ∼1:2,000,000. Two main phenotypes can be distinguished: (1) hypoprothrombinemia (type I deficiency), characterized by concomitantly low levels of activity and antigen; and (2) dysprothrombinemia (type II deficiency), characterized by the normal or near-normal synthesis of a dysfunctional protein. In some cases, hypoprothrombinemia associated with dysprothrombinemia was also described in compound heterozygous defects. No living patient with undetectable plasma prothrombin has been reported to date. Prothrombin is encoded by a gene of ∼21 kb located on chromosome 11 and containing 14 exons. Forty different mutations have been identified and characterized in prothrombin deficiency. Many of them surround the catalytic site, whereas another “hot spot” is localized in the recognition domain called anion binding exosite I, also called fibrinogen recognition site. Recently, mutations were identified also in the Na+-binding loop and in the light A-chain of thrombin. Most hypoprothrombinemia-associated mutations are missense, but there are also nonsense mutations leading to stop codons and one single nucleotide deletion. Finally, the main aspects of clinical manifestations and therapy of congenital prothrombin deficiency are presented and discussed.

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