The heterozygote frequency of Gaucher disease (GD) and Tay-Sachs disease (TSD) is distinctly high among Ashkenazi Jews (1:29 for TSD and 1:16 for GD). Two main theories have been suggested to explain this high occurrence: a founder effect with subsequent genetic drift, and a selective advantage of heterozygotes. We compared the frequency of the GD most common mutation (1226A→G) among carriers of the common TSD mutation (+ 1277 TATC) with the frequency of this mutation in the general Ashkenazi population. The frequency of GD carriers among 308 TSD heterozygotes was 1:28 which is about half the expected (P = 0.03). These results indicate that carriers of both diseases do not possess additional evolutionary advantage over single mutation carriers. A reasonable interpretation of these findings is that one or both mutations have arisen relatively recently in different regions of Europe and have not yet reached genetic equilibrium.
|Number of pages||2|
|Journal||European Journal of Human Genetics|
|State||Published - 1998|