Mitochondrial malic enzyme (EC 188.8.131.52; MEM) was examined by starch-gel electrophoresis on post-mortem brain samples from 453 unrelated subjects of either sex comprising 161 Chinese, 150 Indians and 113 Malays and 29 from other racial groups. The estimated gene frequencies of MEM1 were found to be 0.7111, 0.6100 and 0.6769 in Chinese, Indians and Malays, respectively. No significant deviation from the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium was observed in Chinese and Malays. However, there was a significant deviation with a deficiency of heterozygotes among Indians. MES did not show any polymorphism.
Glutathione S-transferases (GST; E.C.184.108.40.206) were phenotyped by starch gel electrophoresis in post-mortem liver samples from 683 unrelated subjects of both sexes. 305 were Chinese, 185 Indians, 147 Malays and 46 from other racial groups of South-East Asia. GST1 and GST2 were found to be polymorphic in these populations. Additional alleles (GST1*3 and GST2*O) were observed at low frequency in all the ethnic groups. The frequency of GST1*1 was lower and that of GST1*2 was higher in Indians and Malays as compared to Chinese. GST1*0 and GST1*3 frequencies were similar in all these ethnic groups. The gene frequencies of the alleles of the GST2 locus varied significantly in the population studied. GST2*0 frequency was significantly higher in Indians than in Chinese and Malays, while the lowest frequency of GST2*1 was found in the Indians. GST2*2 frequency was higher in the Malays than in Chinese and Indians. GST1 and GST2 phenotype distributions were in agreement with Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in all the ethnic groups studied. Sex made no significant difference in the phenotype distribution.