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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Mutations in acid beta-galactosidase cause GM1-gangliosidosis in American patients.

We describe four new mutations in the beta-galactosidase gene. These are the first mutations causing infantile and juvenile GM1-gangliosidosis to be described in American patients. Cell lines from two patients with juvenile and from six patients with infantile GM1-gangliosidosis were analyzed. Northern blot analysis showed the acid beta-galactosidase message to be of normal size and quantity in two juvenile and four infantile cases and of normal size but reduced quantity in two infantile cases. The mutations are distinct from the Japanese mutations. All are point mutations leading to amino acid substitutions: Lys577-->Arg, Arg590-->His, and Glu632-->Gly. The fourth mutation, Arg208-->Cys, accounts for 10 of 16 possible alleles. Two infantile cases from Puerto Rico of Spanish ancestry are homozygous for this mutation, suggesting that this allele may have come to South America and North America via Puerto Rico. That these mutations cause clinical disease was confirmed by marked reduction in catalytic activity of the mutant proteins in the Cos-1 cell expression system.[1]


  1. Mutations in acid beta-galactosidase cause GM1-gangliosidosis in American patients. Boustany, R.M., Qian, W.H., Suzuki, K. Am. J. Hum. Genet. (1993) [Pubmed]
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