Protein modeling and clinical description of a novel in-frame GLB1 deletion causing GM1 gangliosidosis type II

John E. Richter, Michael T. Zimmermann, Patrick R. Blackburn, Ahmed N. Mohammad, Eric W. Klee, Laura M. Pollard, Colleen F. Macmurdo, Paldeep S. Atwal, Thomas R. Caulfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Beta-galactosidase-1 (GLB1) is a lysosomal hydrolase that is responsible for breaking down specific glycoconjugates, particularly GM1 (monosialotetrahexosylganglioside). Pathogenic variants in GLB1 cause two different lysosomal storage disorders: GM1 gangliosidosis and mucopolysaccharidosis type IVB. In GM1 gangliosidosis, decreased β-galactosidase-1 enzymatic activity leads to the accumulation of GM1 gangliosides, predominantly within the CNS. We present a 22-month-old proband with GM1 gangliosidosis type II (late-infantile form) in whom a novel homozygous in-frame deletion (c.1468_1470delAAC, p.Asn490del) in GLB1 was detected. Methods: We used an experimental protein structure of β-galactosidase-1 to generate a model of the p.Asn490del mutant and performed molecular dynamic simulations to determine whether this mutation leads to altered ligand positioning compared to the wild-type protein. In addition, residual mutant enzyme activity in patient leukocytes was evaluated using a fluorometric assay. Results: Molecular dynamics simulations showed the deletion to alter the catalytic site leading to misalignment of the catalytic residues and loss of collective motion within the model. We predict this misalignment will lead to impaired catalysis of β-galactosidase-1 substrates. Enzyme assays confirmed diminished GLB1 enzymatic activity (~3% of normal activity) in the proband. Conclusions: We have described a novel, pathogenic in-frame deletion of GLB1 in a patient with GM1 gangliosidosis type II.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1229-1235
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Genetics and Genomic Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • Beta-galactosidase-1 (GLB1)
  • GM1 gangliosidosis type II
  • molecular modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Protein modeling and clinical description of a novel in-frame GLB1 deletion causing GM1 gangliosidosis type II'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this