Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Genetics of urinary pepsinogen: A new hypothesis

  • 28 Accesses

  • 39 Citations


A new genetic model is proposed to explain the inheritance of the urinary pepsinogen (PG1) polymorphism. Each main fraction, 3, 4 and 5, in the multibanded electrophoretic pattern, is determined by its own specific gene, B, C and D respectively. The intensity ratio of the fractions is principally determined by the number of gene copies. Accordingly, the PG1 phenotypes are determined by gene combinations, haplotypes, some of which may be identical to alleles in previous one locus models. Some critical families, not interpretable using previous genetic models, are presented to support the hypothesis. Preliminary population data from the Netherlands are described. The molecular background of this polymorphism and its relevance for gastric (pre)malignancy is discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Bowen P, Sissons W, Berner M, Harris H, Hopkinson DA (1972) Pepsinogen polymorphism: Evidence for a thrid common allele. Clin Res 20:929

  2. Chiang L, Contreras L, Chiang J, Ward PH (1981) Human prostatic gastricsinogen: The precursor of seminal fluid acid proteinase. Arch Biochem Biophys 210:14–20

  3. Eriksson AW, Meuwissen SGM, Kreuning J, Pronk JC, Frants RR, Pena AS, Pals G, Defize J, Westerveld BD, Ooms ECM, Mullink H, Biemond I. Boomgaard DM vd (1982) Pepsinogen in gastric mucosa and urine: genetic and clinical implications. Am J Hum Genet 34:69a

  4. Jeffreys AJ, Harris S (1982) Processes of gene duplication. Nature 296:9–10

  5. Korsnes L, Gedde-Dahl T (1980) Genetics of pepsinogen I. Ann Hum Genet 43:199–212

  6. Pals G, Defize J (1980) Elektrophorese von Pepsinogen; mögliche klinische Anwendungen bei dem Magencarcinom. In: Radola BJ (ed) Elektrophorese-Forum, München, pp 238–243

  7. Pals G, Defize J, Neuwissen SGM, Westerveld BD, Verhoeven H, Ooms ECM, Kreuning J, Frants RR, Eriksson AW (1981) Pepsinogen I isoenzyme determination. Clinical significance. Gastroenterology 80:1247

  8. Pronk JC, Frants RR, Jansen W, Eriksson AW, Tonino GJM (1982) Evidence for duplication of the human salivary amylase gene. Hum Genet 60:32–35

  9. Samloff IM, Liebman WM (1972) Purification and immunochemical characterization of group II pepsinogens in human seminal fluid. Clin Exp Immunol 11:405–414

  10. Samloff IM, Townes PL (1970) Pepsinogens: Genetic polymorphism in man. Science 168:144–145

  11. Taggart RT, Karn RC, Merritt AD, Yu PL, Conneally PM (1979) Urinary pepsinogen isozymes: a highly polymorphic locus in man. Hum Genet 52:227–238

  12. Taggart RT, Miller RB, Karn RC, Tribble JA, Craft M, Ripberger J, Merritt AD (1978) Vertical thin layer slab polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of selected human polymorphic proteins. In: Catsimpoolas N (ed) Electrophoresis'78. Elsevier-North Holland, Amsterdam, pp 231–242

  13. Townes PL, White MR (1974) Pepsinogen polymorphism frequencies in a negro population. Am J Hum Genet 26:252–254

  14. Weitkamp LR, Townes PL (1975) Genetics of the urinary pepsinogen isozymes. In: Markert CL (ed) Isozymes: Genetics and evolution, vol IV. Academic Press, London New York, pp 829–838

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to R. R. Frants.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Frants, R.R., Pronk, J.C., Pals, G. et al. Genetics of urinary pepsinogen: A new hypothesis. Hum Genet 65, 385–390 (1984).

Download citation


  • Internal Medicine
  • Intensity Ratio
  • Metabolic Disease
  • Gene Copy
  • Specific Gene