Characterization of the molecular defect in a feline model for type II G(M2)-gangliosidosis (Sandhoff disease)

L. L. Muldoon, E. A. Neuwelt, M. A. Pagel, D. L. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


The Korat cat provides an animal model for type II G(M2)-gangliosidosis (Sandhoff disease) that may be suitable for tests of gene replacement therapy with the HEXB gene encoding the β subunit of the β-hexosaminidases. In the present report, we examined the brain and liver pathology of a typical Sandhoff-affected cat. We characterized the feline HEXB complementary DNA (cDNA) and determined the molecular defect in this feline model. cDNA libraries were produced from one normal and one affected animal, and cDNA clones homologous to human HEXB were sequenced. In the affected cDNA clone, the deletion of a cytosine residue at position +39 of the putative coding region results in a frame shift and a stop codon at base +191. This disease- related deletion was consistently detected by sequencing of cloned polymerase chain reaction amplified reverse transcribed messenger RNA from one more normal Korat and two additional affected animals. The defect was further demonstrated using single-strand conformational polymorphism analysis of the polymerase chain reaction products. In addition, alternative splicing of both normal and affected messenger RNAs was demonstrated. These results should facilitate the use of this animal model to assess gene therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1109-1118
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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