Hemophilia A and B are X-linked bleeding disorders resulting from a deficiency in coagulation factor VIII (FVIII) or factor IX (FIX), respectively. Hemophilia affects approximately 1/5000 male births worldwide, and results in premature death and disability due to bleeding if coagulation factor replacement therapy is not used effectively. Hemophilia is clinically categorized by coagulation factor activity levels and ranges in severity from mild (6% to 30%) to moderate (1-5%) to severe (<1%). Many female "carriers" of hemophilia also have decreased factor activity and morbidity from bleeding. Hemophilia A and B are almost always caused by identifiable mutations in the F8 and F9 genes, respectively, and these mutations are found throughout the structural genes. Although the hemophilias are monogenic disorders, there are wide variations in disease severity and therapeutic outcomes which are not readily explained by the disease causing mutations alone.
The My Life Our Future (MLOF) project (www.mylifeourfuture.org) is a national resource developed by a partnership of BloodworksNW (BWNW, formerly the Puget Sound Blood Center), the American Thrombosis and Hemostasis Network (ATHN), the National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF) and Bioverativ, to provide free F8 and F9 gene variant analysis to patients with hemophilia A or B, and to establish a research repository of DNA sequence, DNA, RNA, buffy coat, serum and plasma. The sequence analysis and serum samples are linked to a phenotypic database hosted by ATHN, with samples submitted and clinical data entered at ~100 hemophilia treatment centers (HTCs) nationwide. (See ATHN Research Report Brief in the resource center at www.athn.org). MLOF has become the largest hemophilia genetic project worldwide.
The roles of the MLOF partners are: BWNW, to serve as the central laboratory for the project and house the research repository; ATHN, to support and provide the administrative link with HTCs, to facilitate the collection of accurate phenotypic data, to conduct research review and approval for use of the repository and with BWNW to provide samples and data for research projects; NHF, to provide consumer education and facilitate consumer input into the project; and Bioverativ, to provide financial support and scientific input. The project is governed by a Steering Committee consisting of one representative from each organization.
Subject samples chosen from the MLOF parent study for TOPMed and WGS were drawn from those who gave (or parents gave) informed consent for the Research Repository and included patients of all severities and type, but with an emphasis on those with severe hemophilia and others at increased risk of neutralizing antibody (inhibitor) formation and who had samples in the Research Repository (plasma, serum, RNA) for potential additional -omic studies. Also included were samples from subjects where a likely causative variant for hemophilia was not found in the F8 or F9 coding region, intron-exon boundaries or immediate upstream and downstream regions. Since hemophilia is an X-linked disorder, the majority of subjects are male. Racial distribution is similar to the overall population distribution.