This study describes the complex nucleotide sequence structure of the TCTA short tandem repeat (STR) locus, VWF2. Eight alleles of VWF2 were observed in a population of 116 unrelated Caucasian individuals. The alleles ranged in size from 150 to 178 base pairs (bp). Sequence analysis of the isolated alleles revealed two polymorphic regions that were named sub-loci VWF2-a and VWF2-b. VWF2-a is located at the 5′ end of the conventional locus, whilst VWF2-b is located at the 3′ end. The two sub-loci are joined by a 30-nucleotide non-polymorphic sequence which contains two additional TCTA motif repeats. A semi-nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was designed to amplify the VWF2-b region in conjunction with the standard VWF2 amplification. This new amplification method enabled a higher level of allele discrimination than could be achieved by assigning alleles according to size. A cohort of 99 unrelated individuals was tested with this method. VWF2-a expressed five different alleles ranging from zero motif repeats to four motif repeats, while VWF2-b alleles ranged from 8 to 14 motif repeats. Allelic configuration based on the VWF2-a and VWF2-b sub-alleles revealed 23 unique configurations out of a possible 31 for the original eight VWF2 alleles. In conclusion, the VWF2 is a highly polymorphic STR locus with potential application for forensic and parentage testing.
- Allelic configuration
- Von Willebrand factor