ABO blood group system
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KeyWord:ABO, blood groups, glycosyltransferase. genes, polysaccharides, glycans, carbohydrates, hemolytic diseases
Gradimir Misevic Department of Informatics, University of Brest, Brest 29238, France; Research and Development, Gimmune GmbH, Baarerstrasse, Zug 6301, Switzerland
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      The ABO blood group system in humans has three different carbohydrate antigens named A, B, and O. The A antigen sequence is terminal trisaccharide N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc)α1-3[Fucα1-2]Galβ-, B is terminal trisaccharide Galα1-3[Fucα1-2]Galβ-, and O is terminal disaccharide Fucα1-2Galβ-. The single ABO gene locus has three alleles types A, B and O. The A and B genes code A and B glycosyltransferases respectively and O encodes an inactive enzyme. A large allelic diversity has been found for A and B transferases resulting in the genetic subgrouping of each ABO blood type. Genes for both transferases have been cloned and the 3D structure of enzymes with and without substrate has been revealed by NMR and X ray crystallography. The ABO blood group system plays a vital role in transfusion, organ and tissue transplantation, as well as in cellular or molecular therapies.