Functional in vitro characterization of 14 SMPD1 mutations identified in Italian patients affected by Niemann Pick Type B disease.

Andrea Dardis, Stefania Zampieri, Mirella Filocamo, Alberto Burlina, Bruno Bembi, Maria Gabriela Pittis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Niemann Pick disease (NPD) is an autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disorder caused by the deficient activity of acid sphingomyelinase due to mutations in the SMPD1 gene. We functionally characterized three novel SMPD1 mutations and 11 already reported in the Italian population. Mutant alleles were studied for enzyme activity and protein processing in transiently transfected COS-1 cells. The c.96G>A, c.100delG, c.565dupC, and c.575dupC (p.W32X, p.G34fsX42, p.P189fsX1, and p.P192fs14) alleles expressed no immunoreactive protein and consequently no enzyme activity. In contrast, cells transfected with mutants c.308T>C, c.389T>C, c.674T>C, c.732G>C, c.841G>A, c.1687G>A, c.1799G>A, and c.1799G>C (p.L103P, p.V130A, p.L225P, p.W244C, p.A281T, p.D563Y, p.R600H, p.R600P) expressed protein levels comparable to wild-type ASM expressing cells. Only three of these constructs, c.389T>C, c.1687G>A, and c.1799G>A (p.V130A, p.D563Y, p.R600H), retained residual activity while the other five expressed very low or no enzyme activity. As expected, the c.1669underscore;1670delGT (p.V557fsX18) mutant expressed a completely inactive truncated protein. Interestingly, the c.2T>G (p.M1_W32del) mutant expressed 26.9% of the wild type activity, even though no ASM protein was detected by Western blot analysis, suggesting that the amount of produced enzyme is below detection levels. The results presented in this study are consistent with the wide phenotype variability found in NP type B patients and provide valuable insights into the molecular basis of the disease. (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164
Number of pages1
JournalHuman Mutation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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