The underlying DNA changes associated with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD)-deficient Asians have not been extensively investigated. To fill this gap, we sequenced the G6PD gene of 43 G6PD- deficient Chinese whose G6PD was well characterized biochemically. DNA samples were obtained from peripheral blood of these individuals for sequencing using a direct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) sequencing procedure. From these 43 samples, we have identified five different types of nucleotide substitutions in the G6PD gene: at cDNA 1388 from G to A (Arg to His); at cDNA 1376 from G to T (Arg to Leu); at cDNA 1024 from C to T (Leu to Phe); at cDNA 392 from G to T (Gly to Val); at cDNA 95 from A to G (His to Arg). These five nucleotide substitutions account for over 83% of our 43 G6PD-deficient samples and these substitutions have not been reported in non-Asians. The substitutions found at cDNA 392 and cDNA 1024 are new findings. The substitutions at cDNA 1376 and 1388 account for over 50% of the 43 samples examined indicating a high prevalence of these two alleles among G6PD-deficient Chinese. Our findings add support to the notion that diverse point mutations may account largely for much of the phenotypic heterogeneity of G6PD deficiency.

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