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Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disease characterized by the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and the intraneuronal Lewy bodies in this area. Genetic mutations in PD pathogenesis have been explored and better understood in recent years. GBA variants are now considered to be the single largest risk factor for PD. Gaucher disease (GD) is a lysosomal storage disorder disease and an inherited deficiency of lysosomal glucocerebrosidase (GCase) arising from mutations in the gene GBA. A group of patients with GD exhibit parkinsonian symptoms, meanwhile, GBA mutations are more frequently observed in patients with PD. These lines of evidence suggest a close relationship between GBA mutations and PD. GBA mutations are associated with an earlier onset age and a distinct cognitive decline in PD. GCase loss-of-function caused by GBA mutations interferes with the degradation of α-synuclein, and α-synuclein pathology in turn inhibits normal GCase function in PD, which forms a vicious cycle. However, the exact mechanisms for this bidirectional pathogenic loop have not to be fully elucidated. In this review, we summarize the current understandings on the potential link between GBA mutations and PD pathogenesis, which may show novel insights into PD etiology and therapeutics.
PMID: 29926071 [PubMed - in process]