Open Access Research

Glucocerebrosidase L444P mutation confers genetic risk for Parkinson’s disease in central China

Youpei Wang12, Ling Liu1, Jing Xiong1, Xiaowei Zhang1, Zhenzhen Chen1, Lan Yu1, Chunnuan Chen1, Jinsha Huang1, Zhentao Zhang3, Asrah A Mohmed1, Zhicheng Lin456, Nian Xiong1* and Tao Wang1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Neurology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Hubei, 430022, China

2 Department of Neurology, Qingdao Chengyang People’s Hospital, Shandong, 266109, China

3 Department of Neurology, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, 430060, China

4 Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Harvard, USA

5 Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, and Mailman Neuroscience Research Center, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA, 02478, USA

6 Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center, Boston, MA, 02114, USA

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Behavioral and Brain Functions 2012, 8:57  doi:10.1186/1744-9081-8-57

Published: 10 December 2012



Mutations of the glucocerebrosidase (GBA) gene have reportedly been associated with Parkinson disease (PD) in various ethnic populations such as Singaporean, Japanese, Formosan, Canadian, American, Portuguese, Greek, Brazilian, British, Italian, Ashkenazi Jewish, southern and southwestern Chinese. The purpose of this study is to determine in central China whether or not the reported GBA mutations remain associated with PD.


In this project, we conducted a controlled study in a cohort of 208 central Chinese PD patients and 298 controls for three known GBA mutations (L444P, N370S and R120W).


Our data reveals a significantly higher frequency of L444P mutation in GBA gene of PD cases (3.4%) compared with the controls (0.3%) (P = 0.007, OR = 10.34, 95% CI = 1.26 - 84.71). Specifically, the frequency of L444P mutation was higher in the late onset PD (LOPD) cases compared with that in control subjects. The N370S and R120W mutations were detected in neither the PD group nor the control subjects.


Our observations demonstrated that the GBA L444P mutation confers genetic risk for PD, especially LOPD, among the population in the central China area.

Parkinson’s disease; Glucocerebrosidase; L444P; N370S; R120W; Central China