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Molecular biology of Rh proteins and relevance to molecular medicine

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 June 2006

Neil D. Avent
Affiliation:
Centre for Research in Biomedicine and Genomics Research Institute, University of the West of England, Coldharbour Lane, Frenchay, Bristol, BS16 1QY, UK.
Tracey E. Madgett
Affiliation:
Centre for Research in Biomedicine and Genomics Research Institute, University of the West of England, Coldharbour Lane, Frenchay, Bristol, BS16 1QY, UK.
Zoe E. Lee
Affiliation:
Centre for Research in Biomedicine and Genomics Research Institute, University of the West of England, Coldharbour Lane, Frenchay, Bristol, BS16 1QY, UK.
David J. Head
Affiliation:
Centre for Research in Biomedicine and Genomics Research Institute, University of the West of England, Coldharbour Lane, Frenchay, Bristol, BS16 1QY, UK.
Deborah G. Maddocks
Affiliation:
Centre for Research in Biomedicine and Genomics Research Institute, University of the West of England, Coldharbour Lane, Frenchay, Bristol, BS16 1QY, UK.
Lucy H. Skinner
Affiliation:
Centre for Research in Biomedicine and Genomics Research Institute, University of the West of England, Coldharbour Lane, Frenchay, Bristol, BS16 1QY, UK.

Abstract

The Rhesus (Rh) blood group system is expressed by a pair of 12-transmembrane-domain-containing proteins, the RhCcEe and RhD proteins. RhCcEe and RhD associate as a Rh core complex that comprises one RhD/CcEe protein and most likely two Rh-associated glycoproteins (RhAG) as a trimer. All these Rh proteins are homologous and share this homology with two human non-erythroid proteins, RhBG and RhCG. All Rh protein superfamily members share homology and function in a similar manner to the Mep/Amt ammonium transporters, which are highly conserved in bacteria, plants and invertebrates. Significant advances have been made in our understanding of the structure and function of Rh proteins, as well as in the clinical management of Rh haemolytic disease. This review summarises our current knowledge concerning the molecular biology of Rh proteins and their role in transfusion and pregnancy incompatibility.

Type
Review Article
Copyright
Cambridge University Press 2006

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