Gaucher disease (GD) results from mutations in the gene, which encodes lysosomal glucocerebrosidase (GCase). The large number of mutations known to date in the gene lead to a heterogeneous disorder, which is divided into a non-neuronopathic, type 1 GD, and two neurological, type 2 and type 3, forms. We studied the two fly orthologs, and . Each contains a Minos element insertion, which truncates its coding sequence. In the flies, which express a mutant protein, missing 33 C-terminal amino acids, there was no decrease in GCase activity or substrate accumulation. However, mutant flies presented a significant decrease in GCase activity with concomitant substrate accumulation, which included C14:1 glucosylceramide and C14:0 glucosylsphingosine. mutant flies showed activation of the Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) and presented inflammation and neuroinflammation that culminated in development of a neuronopathic disease. Treatment with ambroxol did not rescue GCase activity or reduce substrate accumulation; however, it ameliorated UPR, inflammation and neuroinflammation, and increased life span. Our results highlight the resemblance between the phenotype of the mutant fly and neuronopathic GD and underlie its relevance in further GD studies as well as a model to test possible therapeutic modalities.
PMID: 31505865 [PubMed]