Genetics and Sickle Cell Anemia


Many changes in the structure of hemoglobin have arisen by mutations. About one person in 100 carries a mutant hemoglobin gene, and these individuals have abnormal hemoglobin molecules in their blood. One of the most common abnormal hemoglobins is hemoglobin S, which causes sickle cell anemia. When the gene for hemoglobin S is inherited from both parents, all of the hemoglobin in the circulation is hemoglobin S and the individual suffers from severe anemia. When the gene for hemoglobin S is inherited from only one parent, the individual is heterozygous for the condition and has sickle cell trait. Although these individuals rarely have severe anemia, half of their hemoglobin is hemoglobin S and half is normal hemoglobin. In this exercise, students compare the electrophoretic patterns of hemoglobin from a normal individual to hemoglobin S and hemoglobin from a person with sickle cell trait. Students are also given the opportunity to study their own hemoglobin in order to test for hemoglobin variants. Typical results of this exercise are shown.

Please note that Exp-102 requires a TG buffer with a pH of 9.2
Electrophoresis package 1/8 (sold separately) provides sufficient agarose, buffers, and stains for this and 5 more experiments!