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Acta Paediatr Suppl. 2006 Apr;95(451):103-9.

Gaucher disease: multiple lessons from a single gene disorder.

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  • 1The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


Gaucher disease is the most common lysosomal storage disease. It is caused by a deficiency in the lysosomal enzyme glucocerebrosidase, a beta-glucosidase, which results in the accumulation of the lipid glucocerebroside in macrophages throughout the body. Gaucher disease is most common in the Ashkenazi Jewish population, and three mutations of the gene encoding glucocerebrosidase (GBA) have been shown to be prevalent in this population (c.1226 A > C [N370S], 84GG and IVS2[+1]). In non-Jewish patients, the most common mutation is c.1448 G > C (L444P). Until 15 years ago, treatment has been restricted to symptomatic interventions, such as splenectomy or hip replacement. However, there are now specific treatment options - enzyme replacement therapy and substrate reduction therapy. Future developments may include the use of chaperone therapy.


The lessons that we have learned from Gaucher disease may well be applicable to the development of therapies for some of the other less common lysosomal storage diseases.

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