The role of glucosylsphingosine as an early indicator of disease progression in early symptomatic type 1 Gaucher disease.

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Gaucher disease (GD), a lysosomal storage disorder caused by β-glucocerebrosidase deficiency, results in the accumulation of glucosylceramide and glucosylsphingosine. Glucosylsphingosine has emerged as a sensitive and specific biomarker for GD and treatment response. However, limited information exists on its role in guiding treatment decisions in pre-symptomatic patients identified at birth or due to a positive family history. We present two pediatric patients with GD1 and highlight the utility of glucosylsphingosine monitoring in guiding treatment initiation.





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Stiles, Ashlee R, Erin Huggins, Luca Fierro, Seung-Hye Jung, Manisha Balwani and Priya S Kishnani (2021). The role of glucosylsphingosine as an early indicator of disease progression in early symptomatic type 1 Gaucher disease. Molecular genetics and metabolism reports, 27. p. 100729. 10.1016/j.ymgmr.2021.100729 Retrieved from

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Ashlee R. Stiles

Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Stiles is a fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics trained in clinical biochemical genetics and molecular genetics. She is co-director of the Duke University Health System Biochemical Genetics Laboratory and external Referral Laboratory. In her work with the Biochemical Genetics laboratory, her research interests focus on improving and developing laboratory diagnostics for rare inborn errors of metabolism. In her role as director of the Referral laboratory, she works closely with hospital leadership on utilization management of genetic send-out tests. 


Priya Sunil Kishnani

Chen Family Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics


A multidisciplinary approach to care of individuals with genetic disorders in conjunction with clinical and bench research that contributes to:
1) An understanding of the natural history and delineation of long term complications of genetic disorders  with a special focus on liver Glycogen storage disorders, lysosomal disorders with a special focus on Pompe disease, Down syndrome and hypophosphatasia
2) ) The development of new therapies such as AAV gene therapy, enzyme therapy, small molecule and other approaches for genetic disorders through translational research

3) The development and execution of large multicenter trials to confirm safety and efficacy of potential therapies
4) Role of antibodies/immune response in patients on therapeutic proteins and AAV gene therapy

. Glycogen Storage Disease (GSD): We are actively following subjects with all types of Glycogen Storage Disease, with particular emphasis on types I, II, III, IV, VI and IX. The goal of the treatment team is to better determine the clinical phenotype and long term complications of these diseases. Attention to disease manifestations observed in adulthood, such as adenomas and risk for HCC, is of paramount importance in monitoring and treating these chronic illnesses. We are establishing clinical algorithms for managing adenomas, and the overall management of these patients including cardiac, bone, muscle and liver issues. A special focus is biomarker discovery, an Omics approach including metabolomics and immune phenotyping. We are working on AAV gene therapy for several hepatic GSDs

.Lysosomal Storage Disease: The Duke Lysosomal Storage Disease (LSD) treatment center follows and treats patients with Pompe, Gaucher, Fabry, Mucopolysaccharidosis, Niemann Pick, LAL-D and other LSD's. The Duke Metabolism Clinical Research Team is exploring many aspects of enzyme replacement therapy (ERT), including impact on different systems, differential response, and long term effects. Other symptomatic and treatment interventions for this category of diseases are also being explored in the context of clinical care.

. Pompe Disease: The care team has extensive experience in the care of infants and adults with Pompe disease and was instrumental in conducting clinical trials and the bench to bedside work that led to the 2006 FDA approval of alglucosidase alfa, the first treatment for this devastating disease. We are currently focusing on role of antibodies/immune response on patient outcome and role of immune modulation/immune suppression as an adjunct to ERT. Our team is also working on AAV gene therapy for Pompe disease. A focus is on newborn screening (NBS) and understanding the clinical phenotype and management approaches for babies identified via NBS

.  Hypophosphatasia: We follow a large cohort of patients with HPP. The goal is to understand the features of the disease beyond bone disease, development of biomarkers, role of ERT and immune responses in HPP

. Neuromuscular disorders: We are collaborating with neurologists, cardiologists and neuromuscular physicians to serve as a treatment site for clinical trials in these diseases. We are currently involved in trials of DMD and are working closely on setting up collaborations for studies in SMA.

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