To detect mutations in the glucocerebrosidase gene in Gaucher disease patients, we used the recently described technique of single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis in combination with selective amplification. We analyzed exon 8, 9, 10 and 11 of the glucocerebrosidase gene; these exons were sequentially amplified using the selectively amplified products as templates. We found variant SSCP patterns corresponding to the presence or absence of the 6433C mutation, which was detected by NciI digestion analysis, in exon 10. Furthermore, we detected four variant SSCP patterns in exon 8, 10 and 11. Sequencing analysis consistently revealed four single-base substitutions in the corresponding exons, three novel missense mutations (5409A, 6375G and 6682T) and one silent polymorphism (6594A). These mutations were found only in one patient; therefore, these findings have confirmed the marked genetic heterogeneity of Gaucher disease. SSCP analysis in combination with selective amplification is a rapid and sensitive procedure for the screening of the mutations in the glucocerebrosidase gene of patients with Gaucher disease.
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