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Infect Genet Evol. 2010 Dec;10(8):1228-36. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2010.08.003. Epub 2010 Aug 14.

A large, systematic molecular-genetic study of G6PD in Indian populations identifies a new non-synonymous variant and supports recent positive selection.

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  • 1Human Genetics Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, India.


Malaria has been endemic in India. G6PD deficiency is known to confer resistance to malaria. Many G6PD deficiency variants, some of which are India-specific, are known to occur in high frequencies in India. This is the first systematic molecular-genetic study in multiple populations from India drawn from diverse ethnic, socio-cultural and geographical backgrounds. Resequencing of the G6PD gene was carried out in 80 males and then the polymorphic variants were genotyped in 400 individuals of both genders, drawn from 10 ethnic groups of India. Our study has identified one new exonic variant (M159I; exon-5), occurring in multiple populations, that is predicted to result in G6PD deficiency. A strong geographical sub-structuring of known G6PD variants has also been established. We have compared all available data from public-domain resources with those generated in this study to identify the nature and extent of natural selection. Our results (a) provide indication of weak negative selection, and (b) reveal signals of recent positive selection for the G6PD Orissa and G6PD Coimbra mutation bearing haplotypes. These inferences have been interpreted in the light of malarial protection to the populations that have been long exposed to plasmodium infection.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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