Gaucher disease is the most common sphingolipid storage disorder. Due to its high prevalence it may appear with a nonrelated neurological disease and be misinterpreted as Gaucher type 3. A family is described in which 2 Gaucher brothers presented different clinical signs. Molecular analysis has shown that both carried two mutated alleles. One allele had a G to C transversion at nucleotide 3119 of the active gene (Asp140-His) while the other presented two base pair changes, an A to C transversion at nucleotide number 3170 (Lys157-Gly), and a G-A transition at nucleotide number 5309 (Glu324-Lys). Therefore, both presented the same type of Gaucher disease which was accompanied with a nonrelated neurological disease in one of them. Molecular diagnosis of 161 patients has provided a relative abundance of different mutations among Jewish and non-Jewish patients and allowed some genotype-phenotype correlation. Differential expression of the murine glucocerebrosidase activator gene (the prosaposine) has been demonstrated using Northern technique and in situ hybridization. High expression levels were observed in the brain and testes. In the testes the prosaposine expression was confined to the supporting cells. In the female gonad prosaposine expression has also been shown, in the corpus luteum. In a 12½-day-old embryo, prosaposine gene expression was detected mainly in brain stem, in dorsal ganglia and in the genital ridge.
- Gaucher disease
- Molecular diagnosis