Gaucher disease: a membranous enzymopathy.

R. J. Desnick, G. A. Grabowski, T. Dinur, D. Fabbro, J. Goldblatt, S. Gatt

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Inhibitors and activators of acid beta-glucosidase activity were used as probes to characterize the components of the active site of the membrane bound enzyme, acid beta-glucosidase. Three components of the active site were defined: (1) a catalytic site, (2) an aglycon binding site, and (3) a hydrophobic binding site (Fig. 5A). Similar studies on the residual acid beta-glucosidase in homozygotes with Type 1 Ashkenazi Gaucher disease suggested that this enzyme's hydrophobic site was more hydrophilic than that of the normal enzyme. The defect in this membranous enzymopathy could have resulted from a single base substitution in the structural gene leading to the insertion of a more hydrophilic amino acid in the hydrophobic domain of the gene product. Alternatively, a base substitution which altered the conformation of the enzyme could render the hydrophobic site more hydrophilic. The following consequences of such a mutation would be expected. The mutation would not affect substrate binding to the catalytic site, since the formation of the enzyme-substrate complex (ie, the Km) would not be altered. If the HS site became more hydrophilic, its efficiency for removing the product would be reduced, resulting in a lower substrate turnover (ie, a "Vmax mutation"). Consequently, the binding of glucosyl psychosine, taurocholate, and phosphatidyl serine to the hydrophobic site would be less efficient, resulting in a greater alpha Ki value. Finally, the binding of taurocholate to the HS would be reduced, and this lipid's enhancement of acid beta-glucosidase inhibition by OBG also would be decreased. Since these results are based on kinetic data, confirmation of the hypothesis will require the preparation of homogenous beta-glucosidase from normal and Type 1 Ashkenazi Gaucher sources for amino acid sequencing of the peptides containing the catalytic site as well as the other components of the active site. Such peptides might be identified by their ability to bind radiolabeled inhibitors and/or activating compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-215
Number of pages23
JournalProgress in Clinical and Biological Research
StatePublished - 1982


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