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Association of Mutations in a Lysosomal Protein with Classical Late-Infantile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis

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Science  19 Sep 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5333, pp. 1802-1805
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5333.1802

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Abstract

Classical late-infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (LINCL) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease whose defective gene has remained elusive. A molecular basis for LINCL was determined with an approach applicable to other lysosomal storage diseases. When the mannose 6-phosphate modification of newly synthesized lysosomal enzymes was used as an affinity marker, a single protein was identified that is absent in LINCL. Sequence comparisons suggest that this protein is a pepstatin-insensitive lysosomal peptidase, and a corresponding enzymatic activity was deficient in LINCL autopsy specimens. Mutations in the gene encoding this protein were identified in LINCL patients but not in normal controls.

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