Loss of glucocerebrosidase 1 activity causes lysosomal dysfunction and α-synuclein aggregation

Experimental & Molecular Medicine
Eun-Jin BaeSeung-Jae Lee

Abstract

Lysosomal dysfunction is a common pathological feature of neurodegenerative diseases. GTP-binding protein type A1 (GBA1) encodes β-glucocerebrosidase 1 (GCase 1), a lysosomal hydrolase. Homozygous mutations in GBA1 cause Gaucher disease, the most common lysosomal storage disease, while heterozygous mutations are strong risk factors for Parkinson's disease. However, whether loss of GCase 1 activity is sufficient for lysosomal dysfunction has not been clearly determined. Here, we generated human neuroblastoma cell lines with nonsense mutations in the GBA1 gene using zinc-finger nucleases. Depending on the site of mutation, GCase 1 activity was lost or maintained. The cell line with GCase 1 deficiency showed indications of lysosomal dysfunction, such as accumulation of lysosomal substrates, reduced dextran degradation and accumulation of enlarged vacuolar structures. In contrast, the cell line with C-terminal truncation of GCase 1 but with intact GCase 1 activity showed normal lysosomal function. When α-synuclein was overexpressed, accumulation and secretion of insoluble aggregates increased in cells with GCase 1 deficiency but did not change in mutant cells with normal GCase 1 activity. These results demonstrate that loss of GCas...Continue Reading

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Methods Mentioned

BETA
ELISA
electron microscopy

Software Mentioned

Olympus FV1000
GraphPad
InStat
MegaView
MultiGauge

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