- The most common causes of alpha-thalassemia are deletions that remove one or both of the functional alpha-globin genes. In addition, more than 30 different point mutations and small deletions/insertions have been reported for the alpha-globin genes. Here, we describe two new mutations occurring in exon 2 of the alpha1-globin gene. One mutation is an insertion of 21 bp that gives rise to a predicted alpha-globin chain containing a duplication of amino acid residues 93-99. The second mutation is a 33 bp deletion resulting in a predicted alpha-globin chain that is missing amino acid residues 64-74. Neither mutation results in a detectable hemoglobin variant, indicating that the variant alpha-globin chains are highly unstable. Carriers of these mutations have mild microcytosis and the phenotype of alpha+-thalassemia trait.