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Molecular biology of the Rh blood group system.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
1077-4114
Publisher
Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer) - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Publication Date
Volume
23
Issue
6
Pages
394–402
Identifiers
PMID: 11563778
Source
Medline

Abstract

Rh molecular biology has made many advances since the first Rh cDNA was cloned in 1990. This review summarizes the current knowledge concerning the molecular basis of Rh antigenicity, D-epitope expression, and the structures of the Rh genes and proteins. Although many recent reviews have appeared regarding these subjects, advances in Rh protein function that have been published within the last 12 months have had a fundamental impact on the future direction of Rh research. In November 2000, an article described the role of Rh proteins in ammonium transport, which has remained undescribed in vertebrates, except for non-specific transport via K+ channels. The recent identification of nonerythroid Rh proteins, their expression in diverse tissues, and notably polarized epithelial and endothelial cells will be of broad functional significance and will greatly increase our understanding of the role of Rh in ammonium transport and the biology of ammonium metabolism as a whole. The advances in Rh molecular genetics have enabled the development of diagnostic tests in the clinic. At present, this is largely confined to the prenatal diagnosis of fetal blood group status in alloimmunized pregnancies, but could be extended to the noninvasive prenatal testing of all D-negative pregnant women and eventually, perhaps, to all patient and donor blood.

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