How is glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency inherited?
G6PD deficiency is inherited in an X-linked recessive manner. The gene associated with this condition is located on the X chromosome, which is one of the two sex chromosomes. In males (who have only one X chromosome), one changed (mutated) copy of the gene in each cell is enough to cause the condition because they don't have another X chromosome with a normal copy of the gene. In females (who have two X chromosomes), a mutation would have to occur in both copies of the gene to cause the disorder. Because it is unlikely that females will have two mutated copies of this gene, males are affected by X-linked recessive disorders much more frequently than females. Fathers cannot pass X-linked traits to their sons.
Last updated: 7/23/2015
Can women have symptoms of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency?
Females can have G6PD deficiency if they have mutations in the associated gene on both of their X chromosomes. It is not common for women to have G6PD deficiency except in populations where the overall frequency of this condition is quite high.
Some women who are carriers of this condition (and therefore have a mutation on only one X chromosome) develop symptoms of G6PD deficiency, particularly hemolytic anemia.
Last updated: 10/11/2011
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