Hereditary anaemia can be treated by a special protein, announced researchers after its discovery.
The KLF1 blood protein is less active in many members of a Maltese family, but their blood is more capable of absorbing and transporting oxygen, researchers from Erasmus Medical Center (MC) said.
"If patients were to have the same KLF1 protein as the Maltese family the transportation of their oxygen would then improve," English.news.cn quoted Sjaak Philipsen as saying.
The finding showed the production of haemoglobin in the Maltese family is similar to that of unborn babies.
As babies take oxygen from their mother's blood, they produce a type of haemoglobin that binds with oxygen better than adult haemoglobin.
When the KLF1 blood protein is less active, more so-called foetal haemoglobin enters into the blood, resulting in improved uptake and transport of oxygen.
"Follow-up research will enable us to determine whether it is also possible to change the protein in patients in such a way that the uptake and transport of oxygen can be improved," Philipsen said.
The find will be published in the August edition of the leading journal Nature Genetics.