Factor XIII deficiency has been classified into two categories: type I deficiency, characterized by the lack of both the a and b subunits; and type II deficiency, characterized by the lack of the a subunit alone. To clarify the genetic bases of these diseases, previously reported cases of the type I deficiency were examined at the DNA level. DNA sequence analysis showed that a nucleotide triplet (AAC) was inserted within the codon for Tyr-80 in exon III of the gene for a female proband's b subunit, resulting in the creation of a stop codon. Restriction digestion of amplified DNAs confirmed that the proband and her sister were homozygotes, and their family members were heterozygotes of this mutant allele. A truncated protein composed of 79 amino acids could be synthesized by these homozygotes; however, such a protein would not be secreted or it would degrade quickly, because there were normal amounts of the mutant mRNA, but no b subunit was detected in these patients. The a subunit deficiency of these patients must be a secondary to the b subunit deficiency, as their gene for the a subunit was intact, and the a subunit in their platelets was present within normal levels.

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