Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) is an acquired hemolytic anemia characterized by the presence of abnormal subpopulations of blood cells that are deficient in surface expression of glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins. Recent studies showed that the gene termed PIG-A, which participates in the first step of GPI-anchor biosynthesis, is mutated in the abnormal blood cells from patients with PNH. In this study the genomic PIG-A gene was cloned and characterized to obtain nucleotide sequence information for analyzing somatic mutations of PIG-A in patients with PNH. The PIG-A gene is at least 17 kb long and has six exons. The exon-intron boundaries and 583 bp of the 5′ flanking region were sequenced. The 5′ flanking region has no TATA-like sequence, but includes four CAAT boxes, two AP-2 sequences, and a CRE sequence, some of which are present in regions necessary for the promoter activity. We report pairs of oligonucleotide primers for polymerase chain reaction that should be useful to amplify and analyze various regions of the PIG-A gene in patients with PNH.

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