ER retention and degradation as the molecular basis underlying Gaucher disease heterogeneity

Idit Ron, Mia Horowitz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gaucher disease (GD), an autosomal recessive disease, is characterized by accumulation of glucosylceramide mainly in cells of the reticuloendothelial system, due to mutations in the acid β-glucocerebrosidase gene. Some of the patients suffer from neurological symptoms (type 2 and type 3 patients), whereas patients with type 1 GD do not present neurological signs. The disease is heterogeneous even among patients with the same genotype, implicating that a mutation in the glucocerebrosidase gene is required to cause GD but other factors play an important role in the manifestation of the disease. Glucocerebrosidase is a lysosomal enzyme, synthesized on endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-bound polyribosomes and translocated into the ER. Following N-linked glycosylations, it is transported to the Golgi apparatus, from where it is trafficked to the lysosomes. In this study, we tested glucocerebrosidase protein levels, N-glycans processing and intracellular localization in skin fibroblasts derived from patients with GD. Our results strongly suggest that mutant glucocerebrosidase variants present variable levels of ER retention and undergo ER-associated degradation in the proteasomes. The degree of ER retention and proteasomal degradation is one of the factors that determine GD severity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2387-2398
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Molecular Genetics
Issue number16
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2005


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