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Korean J Lab Med. 2010 Feb;30(1):51-57. English. Original Article.
Park HD , Park KU , Song J , Ki CS , Han KS , Kim JQ .
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Genetics, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.

BACKGROUND: The Lewis histo-blood group system consists of 2 major antigens-Lea and Leb-and a sialyl Lewis antigen-carbohydrate antigen (CA) 19-9. We investigated the distribution of Lewis genotypes and evaluated the relationship between the Lewis/Secretor genotypes and the serum level of CA 19-9 in a Korean population to identify whether the serum CA 19-9 levels are influenced by the Lewis/Secretor genotypes. METHODS: The study included 242 individuals who had no malignancies. Lewis genotyping was performed for the 59T>G, 508G>A and 1067T>A polymorphic sites. The Secretor genotype was determined through analysis of the 357C>T and 385A>T polymorphic sites and the fusion gene. Serum CA 19-9 level was analyzed using an electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. RESULTS: Individuals carrying the 3 common genotypes-Le/Le, Le/le(59,508), and Le/le(59,1067)-accounted for 95% of the study population. In the Korean population, the allelic frequencies of Le, Le(59), le(59,508), and le(59,1067) were 0.731, 0.010, 0.223, and 0.035, respectively. We found a significant difference in serum CA 19-9 concentrations among the 9 Lewis/Secretor genotype groups (P<0.001). The serum CA 19-9 levels in subjects with genotype groups 1 and 2 (Le/- and se/se) were higher than those with genotype groups 3-6 (Le/- and Se/-; 15.63 vs 6.64 kU/L, P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Le/Le, Le/le(59,508), and Le/le(59,1067) are frequent Lewis genotypes in Koreans. Because serum CA 19-9 levels are significantly influenced by the Lewis/Secretor genotypes, caution is suggested when interpreting the serum CA 19-9 levels.

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