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BMC Med Genet. 2018 Oct 1;19(1):178. doi: 10.1186/s12881-018-0687-5.

Biochemical and molecular characterization of adult patients with type I Gaucher disease and carrier frequency analysis of Leu444Pro - a common Gaucher disease mutation in India.

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FRIGE's Institute of Human Genetics, FRIGE House, Jodhpur Gam Road, Satellite, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, 380015, India.
FRIGE's Institute of Human Genetics, FRIGE House, Jodhpur Gam Road, Satellite, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, 380015, India.
Center of Medical Genetics, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Rajinder Nagar, New Delhi, 110060, India.
Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Science, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, 226014, India.



Gaucher disease is a rare pan-ethnic disorder which occurs due to an increased accumulation of undegraded glycolipid glucocerebroside inside the cells' lysosomes. A beta-Glucosidase (GBA) gene defect results in glucocerebrosidase enzyme deficiency. Though the disease is mainly diagnosed in childhood, the adult manifestation is often missed or identified late due to the failure to recognize the heterogeneous clinical presentation. The present study includes seven unrelated Indian adult patients (age range: 20-40 years) having splenomegaly, with or without hepatomegaly, cytopenia and bone abnormality.


The biochemical investigation implicated measuring plasma chitotriosidase enzyme activity followed by confirmatory test of β-Glucosidase enzyme activity from the leukocytes. The molecular characterization involved patients' initial screening for the common Gaucher mutation (Leu444Pro). Later, all patients were subjected to whole GBA gene coding region study using bidirectional Sanger sequencing. The population screening for common Gaucher disease mutation (Leu444Pro) was executed in 1200 unrelated and healthy Indian subjects by Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism-Polymerase Chain Reaction technique. The allele frequency was calculated using Hardy-Weinberg formula.


The biochemical analysis revealed a significant reduction in the β-Glucosidase activity in all the patients. Also, an elevated level of plasma Chitotriosidase activity in five patients supported their diagnosis of Gaucher disease. Sanger sequencing established four patients with homozygous variation and three patients with compound heterozygous variation in GBA gene. This study uncovers two missense variants (Ala448Thr and Val17Gly) not previously reported in Gaucher disease patients. Also the known mutations like Leu444Pro, Arg329Cys, Asp315Asn, Ser125Arg, and Arg395Cys were identified in these patients. The homology modeling suggested the destabilization of the protein structure due to novel variants. The Leu444Pro mutation screening in the Indian population spotted two people as a carrier. This emerged the carrier frequency of 1:600 along with wild-type allele frequency 0.97113 and mutant allele frequency 0.02887.


The study reports novel and known variants identified in the GBA gene in seven adult patients. The given study is the first report on the carrier frequency of the Leu444Pro mutant allele in an Indian population which will help understanding the burden and susceptibility of Gaucher disease to affect next generation in India.


Adult Gaucher disease; Chitotriosidase; GBA gene; Glucocerebrosidase; Indian population; Leu444Pro carrier frequency; β-Glucosidase

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