Mutations in the GBA1 gene, encoding the enzyme glucocerebrosidase, cause the lysosomal storage disorder GD (Gaucher’s disease), and are associated with the development of PD (Parkinson's disease) and other Lewy body disorders. Interestingly, GBA1 variants are the most common genetic risk factor associated with PD. Although clinical studies argue a strong case towards a link between GBA1 mutations and the development of PD, mechanistic insights have been lacking. In the present article, we review recent findings that have provided some biochemical evidence to bridge this relationship, focusing on the molecular link between two proteins, α-synuclein and glucocerebrosidase, involved in PD and GD respectively.

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