A mutation in the human glucocerebrosidase gene in neuronopathic Gaucher's disease

N Engl J Med. 1987 Mar 5;316(10):570-5. doi: 10.1056/NEJM198703053161002.


To search for a genetic marker for type 2 Gaucher's disease (acute neuronopathic form), we compared the nucleotide sequence of a cloned glucocerebrosidase gene from a patient with Gaucher's disease with a normal gene. We found only a single base substitution (T----C) in exon X. This mutation results in the substitution of proline for leucine in position number 444 and produces a new cleavage site for the NciI restriction endonuclease. We analyzed NciI enzymatic digests of genomic DNA from 20 patients with type 1, 5 with type 2, and 11 with type 3 Gaucher's disease, and 29 normal controls for a restriction-fragment-length polymorphism (RFLP). Four of 5 patients with type 2 disease and all 11 with type 3 disease had at least one allele with the mutation. Two of 5 patients with type 2 disease and 7 of 11 with type 3 were homozygous for this mutation. Only 4 of 20 patients with type 1 Gaucher's disease had the mutant allele and were heterozygous for it. None of the 29 normal controls had the mutant allele. The high frequency of this mutation (444leucine----proline) in patients with neuronopathic Gaucher's disease, detectable by the NciI RFLP, may be of value in the identification of patients who will have the neurologic sequelae of Gaucher's disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alleles
  • Base Sequence
  • Child
  • Exons
  • Gaucher Disease / genetics*
  • Glucosidases / genetics*
  • Glucosylceramidase / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation*
  • Nervous System Diseases / genetics
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length


  • Glucosidases
  • Glucosylceramidase