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Mol Biol Rep. 2013 Feb;40(2):851-6. doi: 10.1007/s11033-012-2124-8. Epub 2012 Oct 14.

Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency in Tunisia: molecular data and phenotype-genotype association.

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Biochemistry Laboratory, Research Laboratory LR00SP03, Children's Hospital, Bab Saadoun Square, Tunis, Tunisia.


Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is the most common human enzyme defect. In this study, we aimed to perform a molecular investigation of G6PD deficiency in Tunisia and to associate clinical manifestations and the degree of deficiency with the genotype. A total of 161 Tunisian subjects of both sexes were screened by spectrophotometric assay for enzyme activity. Out of these, 54 unrelated subjects were selected for screening of the most frequent mutations in Tunisia by PCR/RFLP, followed by size-based separation of double-stranded fragments under non-denaturing conditions on a denaturing high performance liquid chromatography system. Of the 56 altered chromosomes examined, 75 % had the GdA(-) mutation, 14.28 % showed the GdB(-) mutation and no mutations were identified in 10.72 % of cases. Hemizygous males with GdA(-) mutation were mostly of class III, while those with GdB(-) mutation were mainly of class II. The principal clinical manifestation encountered was favism. Acute hemolytic crises induced by drugs or infections and neonatal jaundice were also noted. Less severe clinical features such as low back pain were present in heterozygous females and in one homozygous female. Asymptomatic individuals were in majority heterozygote females and strangely one hemizygous male. The spectrum of mutations seems to be homogeneous and similar to that of Mediterranean countries; nevertheless 10.72 % of cases remain with undetermined mutation thus suggesting a potential heterogeneity of the deficiency at the molecular level. On the other hand, we note a better association of the molecular defects with the severity of the deficiency than with clinical manifestations.

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