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    Gaucher disease is caused by mutations in GBA1 encoding acid β-glucosidase (GCase). Saposin C enhances GCase activity and protects GCase from intracellular proteolysis. Structure simulations indicated that the mutant GCases, N370S (0 S), V394L (4L) and D409V(9V)/H(9H), had altered function. To investigate the in vivo function of Gba1 mutants, mouse models were generated by backcrossing the above homozygous mutant GCase mice into Saposin C deficient (C*) mice. Without saposin C, the mutant GCase activities in the resultant mouse tissues were reduced by ~50% compared with those in the presence of Saposin C. In contrast to 9H and 4L mice that have normal histology and life span, the 9H;C* and 4L;C* mice had shorter life spans. 9H;C* mice developed significant visceral glucosylceramide (GC) and glucosylsphingosine (GS) accumulation (GC»GS) and storage macrophages, but lesser GC in the brain, compared to 4L;C* mice that presents with a severe neuronopathic phenotype and accumulated GC and GS primarily in the brain. Unlike 9V mice that developed normally for over a year, 9V;C* pups had a lethal skin defect as did 0S;C* mice resembled that of 0S mice. These variant Gaucher disease mouse models presented a mutation specific phenotype and underscored the in vivo role of Saposin C in the modulation of Gaucher disease.


    Benjamin Liou, Wujuan Zhang, Venette Fannin, Brian Quinn, Huimin Ran, Kui Xu, Kenneth D R Setchell, David Witte, Gregory A Grabowski, Ying Sun. Combination of acid β-glucosidase mutation and Saposin C deficiency in mice reveals Gba1 mutation dependent and tissue-specific disease phenotype. Scientific reports. 2019 Apr 03;9(1):5571

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    PMID: 30944381

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