A DNA polymorphism in the coding region of coagulation factor IX-- potentially valuable for carrier detection, prenatal diagnosis, and population studies--was described in 1985. It had been discovered with monoclonal antibodies that distinguish between threonine and alanine as the 148th residue of the peptide. Its use as a diagnostic tool has been limited because threonine-containing factor IX (Malmo A) is dominant to alanine-containing factor IX (Malmo B) in immunoassays of plasma; therefore, detection of Malmo heterozygotes is not possible in all instances. A DNA method for recognizing all heterozygotes has been developed, but it also has limitations. We report the development of another DNA procedure based on amplification of the relevant DNA with the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This method is quick, avoids the use of isotopes and x-ray film, and specifically identifies all the Malmo genotypes: hemizygotes, homozygotes, and heterozygotes. The procedure can be performed satisfactorily on small samples of blood (less than 1 mL) as suggested by Kogan et al (N Engl J Med 317:985, 1987). The method described is applicable to any genetic polymorphism that overlaps a restriction enzyme recognition site.

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