Dermal fibroblasts from patients with Parkinson’s disease have normal GCase activity and autophagy compared to patients with PD and GBA mutations

23 Jul 2018

Background: Recently, the development of Parkinson’s disease (PD) has been linked to a number of genetic risk factors, of which the most common is glucocerebrosidase (GBA) mutations. Methods: We investigated PD and Gaucher Disease (GD) patient derived skin fibroblasts using biochemistry assays. Results: PD patient derived skin fibroblasts have normal glucocerebrosidase (GCase) activity, whilst patients with PD and GBA mutations have a selective deficit in GCase enzyme activity and impaired autophagic flux. Conclusions: This data suggests that only PD patients with a GBA mutation have altered GCase activity and autophagy, which may explain their more rapid clinical progression.