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Gaucher disease is an autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disorder resulting from mutations in the gene GBA1 that lead to a deficiency in the enzyme glucocerebrosidase. Accumulation of the enzyme's substrates, glucosylceramide and glucosylsphingosine, result in symptoms ranging from skeletal and visceral involvement to neurological manifestations. Nonetheless, there is significant variability in clinical presentations amongst patients, with limited correlation between genotype and phenotype. Contributing to this clinical variation are genetic modifiers that influence the phenotypic outcome of the disorder. In this review, we explore the role of genetic modifiers in Mendelian disorders, and describe methods to facilitate their discovery. In addition, we provide examples of candidate modifiers of Gaucher disease, explore their relevance in the development of potential therapeutics, and discuss the impact of GBA1 and modifying mutations on other more common diseases like Parkinson disease. Identifying these important modulators of Gaucher phenotype may ultimately unravel the complex relationship between genotype and phenotype and lead to improved counseling and treatments. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
PMID: 30098107 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]