Plasma Glucosylsphingosine in GBA1 Mutation Carriers with and without Parkinson's Disease

Matthew Surface, Manisha Balwani, Cheryl Waters, Alexander Haimovich, Ziv Gan-Or, Karen S. Marder, Tammy Hsieh, Linxia Song, Shalini Padmanabhan, Frank Hsieh, Kalpana M. Merchant, Roy N. Alcalay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Biallelic mutations in the GBA1 gene encoding glucocerebrosidase cause Gaucher's disease, whereas heterozygous carriers are at risk for Parkinson's disease (PD). Glucosylsphingosine is a clinically meaningful biomarker of Gaucher's disease but could not be assayed previously in heterozygous GBA1 carriers. Objective: The aim of this study was to assess plasma glucosylsphingosine levels in GBA1 N370S carriers with and without PD. Methods: Glucosylsphingosine, glucosylceramide, and four other lipids were quantified in plasma from N370S heterozygotes with (n = 20) or without (n = 20) PD, healthy controls (n = 20), idiopathic PD (n = 20), and four N370S homozygotes (positive controls; Gaucher's/PD) using quantitative ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Results: Plasma glucosylsphingosine was significantly higher in N370S heterozygotes compared with noncarriers, independent of disease status. As expected, Gaucher's/PD cases showed increases in both glucocerebrosidase substrates, glucosylsphingosine and glucosylceramide. Conclusions: Plasma glucosylsphingosine accumulation in N370S heterozygotes shown in this study opens up its future assessment as a clinically meaningful biomarker of GBA1-PD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-421
Number of pages6
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Gaucher's
  • Parkinson's
  • glucocerebrosidase
  • lipidomics


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