The mutations in Ashkenazi Jews with adult GM2 gangliosidosis, the adult form of Tay-Sachs disease

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Science  17 Mar 1989:
Vol. 243, Issue 4897, pp. 1471-1474
DOI: 10.1126/science.2522679


The adult form of Tay-Sachs disease, adult GM2 gangliosidosis, is an autosomal recessive disorder that results from mutations in the alpha chain of beta-hexosaminidase A. This disorder, like infantile Tay-Sachs disease, is more frequent in the Ashkenazi Jewish population. A point mutation in the alpha-chain gene was identified that results in the substitution of Gly with Ser in eight Ashkenazi adult GM2 gangliosidosis patients from five different families. This amino acid substitution was shown to depress drastically the catalytic activity of the alpha chain after expression in COS-1 cells. All of these patients proved to be compound heterozygotes of the allele with the Gly to Ser change and one of the two Ashkenazi infantile Tay-Sachs alleles. These findings will aid in the diagnosis and understanding of beta-hexosaminidase A deficiency disorders.

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