Immunosurveillance of alglucerase enzyme therapy for Gaucher patients: induction of humoral tolerance in seroconverted patients after repeat administration. (1/414)

Alglucerase, a macrophage-targeted enzyme replacement therapy for Gaucher disease, has been successfully used for several years to improve clinical symptoms and reverse disease progression. As part of an immunosurveillance program, 1,122 Gaucher patients were monitored for antibody response to glucocerebrosidase, the active component of alglucerase. Seroconversion was detected in 142 patients (12.8%) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and confirmed by radioimmunoprecipitation. The majority (75%) of the seroconverted population had no detectable levels of circulating inhibitory antibody as assessed by in vitro inhibition of enzymatic activity of the therapeutic molecule. Of the remaining patients with putative inhibitory antibodies, the majority had only low levels of serum inhibitory activity, which was transient. A very small number of patients were identified as developing true neutralizing antibodies, as defined by the development of antibodies that impacted clinical efficacy. Many of the patient antibody responses were also diminished with time. Eighty-two of the 142 seroconverted patients have stopped producing antibody to the molecule and appear tolerized. The mean time for humoral tolerization was 28 months from initiation of therapy. Of 64 seroconverted patients followed for at least 30 months of therapy, the tolerization rate was 93%. These results show that although 12.8% of the patients on therapy developed antibodies to the molecule, 90% of these patients became tolerized over time.  (+info)

Non-pseudogene-derived complex acid beta-glucosidase mutations causing mild type 1 and severe type 2 gaucher disease. (2/414)

Gaucher disease is an autosomal recessive inborn error of glycosphingolipid metabolism caused by the deficient activity of the lysosomal hydrolase, acid beta-glucosidase. Three phenotypically distinct subtypes result from different acid beta-glucosidase mutations encoding enzymes with absent or low activity. A severe neonatal type 2 variant who presented with collodion skin, ichthyosis, and a rapid neurodegenerative course had two novel acid beta-glucosidase alleles: a complex, maternally derived allele, E326K+L444P, and a paternally inherited nonsense mutation, E233X. Because the only other non-pseudogene-derived complex allele, D140H+E326K, also had the E326K lesion and was reported in a mild type 1 patient with a D140H+E326K/K157Q genotype, these complex alleles and their individual mutations were expressed and characterized. Because the E233X mutation expressed no activity and the K157Q allele had approximately 1% normal specific activity based on cross-reacting immunologic material (CRIM SA) in the baculovirus system, the residual activity in both patients was primarily from their complex alleles. In the type 1 patient, the D140H+E326K allele was neuroprotective, encoding an enzyme with a catalytic efficiency similar to that of the N370S enzyme. In contrast, the E326K+L444P allele did not have sufficient activity to protect against the neurologic manifestations and, in combination with the inactive E233X lesion, resulted in the severe neonatal type 2 variant. Thus, characterization of these novel genotypes with non-pseudogene-derived complex mutations provided the pathogenic basis for their diverse phenotypes.  (+info)

Induction of selected lipid metabolic enzymes and differentiation-linked structural proteins by air exposure in fetal rat skin explants. (3/414)

The epidermal permeability barrier of premature infants matures rapidly following birth. Previous studies suggest that air exposure could contribute to this acceleration, because: (i) development of a structurally and functionally mature barrier accelerates when fetal rat skin explants are incubated at an air-medium interface, and (ii) occlusion with a water-impermeable membrane prevents this acceleration. To investigate further the effects of air exposure on epidermal barrier ontogenesis, we compared the activities of several key enzymes of lipid metabolism and gene expression of protein markers of epidermal differentiation in fetal rat skin explants grown immersed versus air exposed. The rate-limiting enzymes of cholesterol (HMG CoA reductase) and ceramide (serine palmitoyl transferase) synthesis were not affected. In contrast, the normal developmental increases in activities of glucosylceramide synthase and cholesterol sulfotransferase, responsible for the synthesis of glucosylceramides and cholesterol sulfate, respectively, were accelerated further by air exposure. Additionally, two enzymes required for the final stages of barrier maturation and essential for normal stratum corneum function, beta-glucocerebrosidase, which converts glucosylceramide to ceramide, and steroid sulfatase, which desulfates cholesterol sulfate, also increased with air exposure. Furthermore, filaggrin and loricrin mRNA levels, and filaggrin, loricrin, and involucrin protein levels all increased with air exposure. Finally, occlusion with a water-impermeable membrane prevented both the air-exposure-induced increase in lipid enzyme activity, and the expression of loricrin, filaggrin, and involucrin. Thus, air exposure stimulates selected lipid metabolic enzymes and the gene expression of key structural proteins in fetal epidermis, providing a biochemical basis for air-induced acceleration of permeability barrier maturation in premature infants.  (+info)

Sphingolipid activator proteins are required for epidermal permeability barrier formation. (4/414)

The epidermal permeability barrier is maintained by extracellular lipid membranes within the interstices of the stratum corneum. Ceramides, the major components of these multilayered membranes, derive in large part from hydrolysis of glucosylceramides mediated by stratum corneum beta-glucocerebrosidase (beta-GlcCerase). Prosaposin (pSAP) is a large precursor protein that is proteolytically cleaved to form four distinct sphingolipid activator proteins, which stimulate enzymatic hydrolysis of sphingolipids, including glucosylceramide. Recently, pSAP has been eliminated in a mouse model using targeted deletion and homologous recombination. In addition to the extracutaneous findings noted previously, our present data indicate that pSAP deficiency in the epidermis has significant consequences including: 1) an accumulation of epidermal glucosylceramides together with below normal levels of ceramides; 2) alterations in lipids that are bound by ester linkages to proteins of the cornified cell envelope; 3) a thickened stratum lucidum with evidence of scaling; and 4) a striking abnormality in lamellar membrane maturation within the interstices of the stratum corneum. Together, these results demonstrate that the production of pSAP, and presumably mature sphingolipid activator protein generation, is required for normal epidermal barrier formation and function. Moreover, detection of significant amounts of covalently bound omega-OH-GlcCer in pSAP-deficient epidermis suggests that deglucosylation to omega-OH-Cer is not a requisite step prior to covalent attachment of lipid to cornified envelope proteins.  (+info)

Accumulation of protein-bound epidermal glucosylceramides in beta-glucocerebrosidase deficient type 2 Gaucher mice. (5/414)

The epidermal permeability barrier for water is essentially maintained by extracellular lipid membranes within the interstices of the stratum corneum. Ceramides, the main components of these membranes, derive in large part from hydrolysis of glucosylceramides mediated by the lysosomal enzyme beta-glucocerebrosidase. As analyzed in this work, the beta-glucocerebrosidase deficiency in type 2 Gaucher mice (RecNci I) resulted in an accumulation of all epidermal glucosylceramide species accompanied with a decrease of the related ceramides. However, the levels of one ceramide subtype, which possesses an alpha-hydroxypalmitic acid, was not altered in RecNci I mice suggesting that the beta-glucocerebrosidase pathway is not required for targeting of this lipid to interstices of the stratum corneum. Most importantly, omega-hydroxylated glucosylceramides which are protein-bound to the epidermal cornified cell envelope of the transgenic mice accumulated up to 35-fold whereas levels of related protein-bound ceramides and fatty acids were decreased to 10% of normal control. These data support the hypothesis that in wild-type epidermis omega-hydroxylated glucosylceramides are first transferred enzymatically from their linoleic esters to proteins of the epidermal cornified cell envelope and then catabolized to protein-bound ceramides and fatty acids, thus contributing at least in part to the formation of the lipid-bound envelope.  (+info)

A comparison of the pharmacological properties of carbohydrate remodeled recombinant and placental-derived beta-glucocerebrosidase: implications for clinical efficacy in treatment of Gaucher disease. (6/414)

The objective of these studies was to characterize the macrophage mannose receptor binding and pharmacological properties of carbohydrate remodeled human placental-derived and recombinant beta-glucocerebrosidase (pGCR and rGCR, respectively). These are similar but not identical molecules that were developed as enzyme replacement therapies for Gaucher disease. Both undergo oligosaccharide remodeling during purification to expose terminal mannose sugar residues. Competitive binding data indicated carbohydrate remodeling improved targeting to mannose receptors over native enzyme by two orders of magnitude. Mannose receptor dissociation constants (Kd) for pGCR and rGCR were each 13 nmol/L. At 37 degrees C, 95% of the total macrophage binding was mannose receptor specific. In vivo, pGCR and rGCR were cleared from circulation by a saturable pathway. The serum half-life (t1/2) was 3 minutes when less than saturable amounts were injected intravenously (IV) into mice. Twenty minutes postdose, beta-glucocerebrosidase activity increased over endogenous levels in all tissues examined. Fifty percent of the injected activity was recovered. Ninety-five percent of recovered activity was in the liver. Parenchymal cells (PC), Kupffer cells (KC), and liver endothelium cells (LEC) were responsible for 75%, 22%, and 3%, respectively, of the hepatocellular uptake of rGCR and for 76%, 11%, and 12%, respectively, of the hepatocellular uptake of pGCR. Both molecules had poor stability in LEC and relatively long terminal half-lives in PC (t1/2 = 2 days) and KC (t1/2 = 3 days).  (+info)

Enzyme therapy in Gaucher disease type 2: an autopsy case. (7/414)

A Japanese patient with Gaucher disease type 2 was treated with enzyme therapy, alglucerase, from 7 to 22 months of age. Whereas hematologic parameters were normalized and hepatosplenomegaly was alleviated, no improvement in neurologic symptoms occurred, and the patient died of respiratory failure at age 22 months. Postmortem examination revealed massive intra-alveolar infiltration of Gaucher cells in lungs and in the central nervous system, i.e., the presence of Gaucher cells in the perivascular Virchow-Robins spaces in the cortex and deep white matter and extensive lamilar necrosis with reactive proliferation of blood vessels and macrophage infiltration of the cerebral cortex. It is suggested that enzyme therapy, with thus far recommended dose, does not prevent long-term respiratory and central nervous system involvement in severe varients of Gaucher disease.  (+info)

Beta-glucocerebrosidase activity in mammalian stratum corneum. (8/414)

Although previous studies have demonstrated a crucial role for the enzyme beta-glucocerebrosidase (GlcCer'ase) in the final steps of membrane structural maturation in mammalian stratum cornuem (SC) and epidermal homeostasis, the precise in vivo localization of GlcCer'ase activity and protein is not known. Here, we developed a fluorogenic in situ assay on histologic sections (zymography) to elucidate the in vivo distribution of GlcCer'ase activity, and further characterized and localized the SC GlcCer'ase activity in vitro. The zymographic technique revealed higher GlcCer'ase activity in upper stratum granulosum and SC, both in murine and human SC; activity that was both inhibited by conduritol B epoxide, a specific GlcCer'ase inhibitor, and pH-dependent; i.e., present at pH 5.2, and absent or significantly reduced at neutral pH (7.4), consistent with the known pH optimum for epidermal GlcCer'ase in vitro. Immunohistochemical staining for GlcCer'ase protein showed enhanced fluorescent signal in the outer layers of human epidermis, concentrated at the apex and margins of stratum granulosum and lower SC. Moreover, in extracts from individual epidermal layers, GlcCer'ase activity was present throughout murine epidermis, with the highest activity in the SC, peaking in the lower-to-mid-SC. The SC activity was stimulated >10-fold by sodium taurocholate, and inhibited by bromoconduritol B epoxide. Finally, isolated membrane couplets, prepared from SC sheets, also demonstrated significant GlcCer'ase activity. These data localize GlcCer'ase activity to the outer epidermis by three different techniques, and support the role of this enzyme in extracellular processing of glucosylceramides to ceramides, required for permeability barrier maturation and function.  (+info)