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16.05.2019 | Original Article | Ausgabe 8/2019

Annals of Hematology 8/2019

Colla corii asini might upregulate ZNF471 and THOC5 by KRAB domain–containing zinc-finger protein pathway and THO complex subunit 5 pathway to improve anemia of pregnant women with β-thalassemia

Annals of Hematology > Ausgabe 8/2019
Yanfang Li, Zhanfeng Zhang, Lilin Yang, Xiangyi Li, Jingwen Zhou, Daocheng Li, Songping Luo
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s00277-019-03710-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Pregnant patients with β-thalassemia are more likely to have progressive anemia which expose them to risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, blood transfusion, and iron overload. Results from our previous study indicated that Colla corii asini (CCA, E’jiao), a natural ingredient of traditional Chinese medicine, could significantly increase hemoglobin level of pregnant women with β- thalassemia, but the underlying molecular mechanism was unclear. Thus, we applied high-throughput transcriptome sequencing to study the transcriptomic change before and after the CCA treatment. Twenty eligible pregnant women were recruited and randomized to either the CCA treatment group or the blank control group in a 3:1 ratio. Patients in the treatment group orally received daily 15 g CCA powder for 4 weeks. We analyzed the therapeutic effect indexes and the transcriptomic change in subjects’ peripheral blood before and after treatment. We found that β CD 41-42(-TTCT)/βA was the main genotype of the subjects. The regulatory impact of CCA treatment became more evident among the subjects of genotype β CD 41-42(-TTCT)/βA. Gene ontogenesis analysis revealed that the top five molecular functions of differentially expressed genes were involved in membrane functionality and cellular structure. We further identified two consistent upregulated genes ZNF471 and THOC5 in the effective treatment group, which were engaged in Kruppel-associated box (KRAB) domain-containing zinc-finger protein pathway and THOC5 pathway, respectively. Based on our current findings, we hypothesize that the anti-anemia effect of CCA on pregnant women with β-thalassemia might be related to translation regulation of spectrin synthesis, membrane stability, and eventually prolonged the life span of erythrocytes.

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