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Clin Chim Acta. 2010 Dec 14;411(23-24):1906-14. doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2010.07.038. Epub 2010 Aug 14.

How well does urinary lyso-Gb3 function as a biomarker in Fabry disease?

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Service of Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada.



Fabry disease is characterized by accumulation of glycosphingolipids, such as globotriaosylceramide (Gb(3)), in many tissues and body fluids. A novel plasma biomarker, globotriaosylsphingosine (lyso-Gb(3)), is increased in patients with the disease. Until now, lyso-Gb(3) was not detectable in urine, possibly because of the presence of interfering compounds.


We undertook to: 1) characterize lyso-Gb(3) in urine; 2) develop a method to quantitate urinary lyso-Gb(3) by mass spectrometry; 3) evaluate urinary lyso-Gb(3) as a potential biomarker for Fabry disease; and 4) determine whether lyso-Gb(3) is an inhibitor of α-galactosidase A activity. We analyzed urinary lyso-Gb(3) from 83 Fabry patients and 77 healthy age-matched controls.


The intraday and interday bias and precision of the method were <15%. Increases in lyso-Gb(3)/creatinine correlated with the concentrations of Gb(3) (r(2)=0.43), type of mutations (p=0.0006), gender (p<0.0001) and enzyme replacement therapy status (p=0.0012). Urine from healthy controls contained no detectable lyso-Gb(3). Lyso-Gb(3) did not inhibit GLA activity in dried blood spots. Increased urinary excretion of lyso-Gb(3) of Fabry patients correlated well with a number of indicators of disease severity.


Lyso-Gb(3) is a reliable independent biomarker for clinically important characteristics of Fabry disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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