Submitted Successfully!
To reward your contribution, here is a gift for you: A free trial for our video production service.
Thank you for your contribution! You can also upload a video entry or images related to this topic.
Version Summary Created by Modification Content Size Created at Operation
1 + 374 word(s) 374 2020-12-15 07:54:05

Video Upload Options

Do you have a full video?


Are you sure to Delete?
If you have any further questions, please contact Encyclopedia Editorial Office.
Li, V. G6PD Gene. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 21 June 2024).
Li V. G6PD Gene. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed June 21, 2024.
Li, Vivi. "G6PD Gene" Encyclopedia, (accessed June 21, 2024).
Li, V. (2020, December 25). G6PD Gene. In Encyclopedia.
Li, Vivi. "G6PD Gene." Encyclopedia. Web. 25 December, 2020.
G6PD Gene

Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase


1. Normal Function

The G6PD gene provides instructions for making an enzyme called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. This enzyme, which is active in virtually all types of cells, is involved in the normal processing of carbohydrates. It plays a critical role in red blood cells, which carry oxygen from the lungs to tissues throughout the body. This enzyme helps protect red blood cells from damage and premature destruction.

Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase is responsible for the first step in the pentose phosphate pathway, a series of chemical reactions that convert glucose (a type of sugar found in most carbohydrates) to another sugar, ribose-5-phosphate. Ribose-5-phosphate is an important component of nucleotides, which are the building blocks of DNA and its chemical cousin RNA. This chemical reaction produces a molecule called NADPH, which plays a role in protecting cells from potentially harmful molecules called reactive oxygen species. These molecules are byproducts of normal cellular functions. Reactions involving NADPH produce compounds that prevent reactive oxygen species from building up to toxic levels within cells. The production of NADPH by glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase is essential in red blood cells, which are particularly susceptible to damage by reactive oxygen species because they lack other NADPH-producing enzymes.

2. Health Conditions Related to Genetic Changes

2.1 Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency

More than 200 mutations that cause glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency have been identified in the G6PD gene. Almost all of these mutations lead to changes in single building blocks (amino acids) in the glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase enzyme. These changes disrupt the normal structure and function of the enzyme or reduce the amount of the enzyme produced in cells.

Without enough functional glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, red blood cells are unable to protect themselves from the damaging effects of reactive oxygen species. The damaged cells are likely to rupture and break down prematurely (undergo hemolysis). Factors such as infections, certain drugs, and ingesting fava beans can increase the levels of reactive oxygen species, causing red blood cells to undergo hemolysis faster than the body can replace them. This loss of red blood cells causes the signs and symptoms of hemolytic anemia, which is a characteristic feature of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency.

3. Other Names for This Gene

  • G6PD1



  1. Biochemistry (fifth edition, 2002): Glucose 6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Plays a Key Role in Protection Against Reactive Oxygen Species
  2. Cappellini MD, Fiorelli G. Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency.Lancet. 2008 Jan 5;371(9606):64-74. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(08)60073-2. Review.
  3. Efferth T, Schwarzl SM, Smith J, Osieka R. Role of glucose-6-phosphatedehydrogenase for oxidative stress and apoptosis. Cell Death Differ. 2006Mar;13(3):527-8; author reply 529-30.
  4. Luzzatto L, Nannelli C, Notaro R. Glucose-6-Phosphate DehydrogenaseDeficiency. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 2016 Apr;30(2):373-93. doi:10.1016/j.hoc.2015.11.006. Review.
  5. Verrelli BC, McDonald JH, Argyropoulos G, Destro-Bisol G, Froment A,Drousiotou A, Lefranc G, Helal AN, Loiselet J, Tishkoff SA. Evidence forbalancing selection from nucleotide sequence analyses of human G6PD. Am J HumGenet. 2002 Nov;71(5):1112-28.
Contributor MDPI registered users' name will be linked to their SciProfiles pages. To register with us, please refer to :
View Times: 439
Entry Collection: MedlinePlus
Revision: 1 time (View History)
Update Date: 25 Dec 2020
Video Production Service