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Keywords:

  • chitotriosidase;
  • genotype/phenotype correlations;
  • genotyping;
  • Niemann–Pick disease;
  • SMPD1;
  • sphingomyelinase

Niemann–Pick disease (NPD) types A and B are autosomal, recessively inherited, lysosomal storage disorders caused by deficient activity of acid sphingomyelinase (E.C. 3.1.4.12) because of mutations in the sphingomyelin phosphodiesterase-1 (SMPD1) gene. Here, we present the molecular analysis and clinical characteristics of 15 NPD type A and B patients. Sequencing the SMDP1 gene revealed eight previously described mutations and seven novel mutations including four missense [c.682T>C (p.Cys228Arg), c.1159T>C (p.Cys387Arg), c.1474G>A (p.Gly492Ser), and c.1795C>T (p.Leu599Phe)], one frameshift [c.169delG (p.Ala57Leufs*20)] and two splicing (c.316+1G>T and c.1341delG). The most frequent mutations were p.Arg610del (21%) and p.Gly247Ser (12%). Two patients homozygous for p.Arg610del and initially classified as phenotype B showed different clinical manifestations. Patients homozygous for p.Leu599Phe had phenotype B, and those homozygous for c.1341delG or c.316+1G>T presented phenotype A. The present results provide new insight into genotype/phenotype correlations in NPD and emphasize the difficulty of classifying patients into types A and B, supporting the idea of a continuum between these two classic phenotypes.