Abnormal acid phosphatases in neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses

K. M.F. Khan, S. S. Brooks, R. K. Pullarkat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Acid phosphatases in brain and cultured lymphoblasts from patients affected with neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses (NCL) were studied by starch gel electrophoresis. After electrophoresis the gel was incubated with 4-methyl umbelliferyl phosphate at pH 4.5 and the fluorescent reaction product was visualized under ultraviolet light. Control brain showed a single band with mobility of about 1 cm while NCL patients showed two additional fast moving bands. In the late infantile, and in the adult form (Kufs disease), the middle band was prominent while the fast moving band was predominant in juvenile NCL. In long-term lymphoblasts, controls showed a single band of acid phosphatase activity while both juvenile and late-infantile NCL showed two additional fast moving bands. Obligate heterozygotes showed reduced levels of the fast moving bands. Fluorometric assay of acid phosphatase using 4-methylumbelliferyl phosphate as substrate showed a 2-fold increase in activity in the patients. The increased acid phosphatase activity is completely inhibited by tartrate. Lymphocyte hexosamnidase activities were unchanged in NCL patients lymphoblasts. Studies on brains of NCL patients and on cultured lymphoblasts from families with late-infantile and juvenile form of NCL showed that abnormal acid phosphatase is characteristic of NCL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-289
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of medical genetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


  • brain
  • human acid phosphatases
  • lymphoblasts
  • neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses
  • starch gel electrophoresis


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