Abstract

Three novel Tay-Sachs Disease (TSD) mutations have been identified in two unrelated, non-Jewish compound heterozygous patients. A G772C transversion mutation causing an Asp258His substitution is shared by both patients. The mutant enzyme had been characterized, on the basis of previous kinetic studies (1) as a B1, or α-subunit active site mutation. This is the first B1 mutation not found in codon 178 (exon 5). A C508T transition causing an Argl7OTrp substitution also occurred in one of the patients. The third mutation is a two base deletion occurring in exon 8 involving the loss of either nts 927–928 or 929–930 in codon 310. The deletion creates an inframe termination codon 35 bases downstream. The Argl7OTrp mutation was also detected in a third unrelated TSD patient. In both families this allele was traced to French Canadian ancestors originating In the Estrie region of the province of Quebec. This mutation is the third TSD allele unique to the French Canadian population and the ancestral origins of the carrier parents are distant from the center of diffusion of the more common 7.6 kb deletion mutation which is in the eastern part of the province.

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