Biochemical mechanisms of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1978 Apr;75(4):1979-83. doi: 10.1073/pnas.75.4.1979.


A solid-phase radioimmunoassay for human glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (D-glucose-6-phosphate: NADP+ 1-oxidoreductase; EC was developed that allowed the specific activity of this enzyme protein to be measured in lysates from whole erythrocyte populations, in lysates from erythrocytes of different ages, and in purified samples. The enzyme was highly purified from erythrocytes of single donors by a simple procedure of affinity chromatography with insolubilized adenosine 2',5'-bisphosphate. These techniques were used in an attempt to elucidate the molecular mechanisms leading to deficiency of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity in two genetic variants of the enzyme, i.e., the Mediterranean and the Seattle-like variants. The results indicate that the lowered activity of erythrocytes containing the Mediterranean variant of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase is related to an enhanced rate of degradation of a catalytically defective protein synthesized at a nearly normal rate. Synthesis of a normally functioning protein and an increased breakdown of it are involved in the Seattle-like variant of the enzyme.

MeSH terms

  • Cross Reactions
  • Erythrocyte Aging
  • Erythrocytes / enzymology
  • Erythrocytes, Abnormal / enzymology
  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase / blood*
  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase / genetics
  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase / immunology
  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency / blood
  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency / enzymology*
  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency / genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phenotype
  • Radioimmunoassay


  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase