Regional assignment of the human acid sphingomyelinase gene (SMPD1) by PCR analysis of somatic cell hybrids and in situ hybridization to 11p15.1→p15.4

Lygia da Veiga Pereira, Robert J. Desnick, David A. Adler, Christine M. Disteche, Edward H. Schuchman

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Human acid sphingomyelinase (SMPD1) is the lysosomal phosphodiesterase that cleaves sphingomyelin to ceramide and phosphocholine. The deficient activity of SMPD1 is the enzymatic defect in Types A and B Niemann-Pick disease. Previously, the gene encoding human SMPD1 was assigned to chromosome 17 by the differential thermostability of human and hamster SMPD1 in somatic cell hybrids. The recent isolation of the human SMPD1 cDNA (L. E. Quintern, E. H. Schuchman, O. Levran, M. Suchi, K. Ferlinz, H. Reinke, K. Sandhoff, and R. J. Desnick, 1989, EMBO J. 8: 2469-2473) permitted the mapping of this gene by molecular techniques. Oligonucleotide primers were synthesized to PCR amplify the human, but not murine, SMPD1 sequences in man-mouse somatic cell hybrids. In a panel of 15 hybrid cell lines, amplification of the human SMPD1 sequence was 100% concordant with the presence of human chromosome 11. For each of the other human chromosomes there were at least 6 discordant hybrid lines. Further analysis of somatic cell hybrids containing only chromosome 11 or chromosome 11 rearrangements localized the human SMPD1 gene to the region 11p15.1→p15.4. To provide an independent regional gene assignment, in situ hybridization was performed using the radiolabeled human SMPD1 cDNA. In the 58 metaphase cells examined, 34% of the 122 hybridization sites scored were located in the distal end of chromosome 11 with the major peak of hybridization at band 11p15. The absence of any other in situ hybridization site indicated the absence of pseudogenes or homologous sequences elsewhere in the genome. In contrast to the previous provisional localization to chromosome 17, these results assign a single locus for human SMPD1 to 11p15.1→p15.4.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-234
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1991


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