Abstract

In the baboon (Papio species), the two nonallelic gamma-genes produce gamma-chains that differ at a minimum at residue 75, where isoleucine (I gamma-chain) or valine (V gamma) may be present. This situation obtains in baboons that are sometimes designated as Papio anubis, Papio hamadryas, and Papio papio. However, in Papio cynocephalus, although the I gamma-chains are identical with those in the above mentioned types, the V gamma-chains have the substitutions ala----gly at residue 9 and ala----val at residue 23. The V gamma-chains of P. cynocephalus are called V gamma C to distinguish them from the V gamma A-chains of P. anubis, etc. A single cynocephalus animal has been found to have only normal I gamma-chains and I gamma C-chains (that is, glycine in residue 9, valine in 23, and isoleucine in 75). When HbF is produced in response to stress with 5-azacytidine, P. anubis baboons respond with greater production than do P. cynocephalus, and hybrids fall between. Minimal data on P. hamadryas and P. papio suggest an even lower response than P. cynocephalus. As HbF increases under stress, the ratio of I gamma to V gamma-chains changes from the value in the adult or juvenile baboon toward the ratio in the newborn baboon. However, it does not attain the newborn value. The V gamma A and V gamma C-genes respond differently to stress. In hybrids, the production of V gamma A- chains exceeds that of V gamma C-chains. A controlling factor in cis apparently is present and may be responsible for the species-related extent of total HbF production. It may be concluded that the more primitive the cell in the erythroid maturation series that has been subjected to 5-azacytidine, the more active is the I gamma-gene.

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