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GBA1 as a risk gene for osteoporosis in the specific populations and its role in the development of Gaucher disease.

BACKGROUND: Osteoporosis and its primary complication, fragility fractures, contribute to substantial global morbidity and mortality. Gaucher disease (GD) is caused by glucocerebrosidase (GBA1) deficiency, leading to skeletal complications. This study aimed to investigate the impact of the GBA1 gene on osteoporosis progression in GD patients and the specific populations.

METHODS: We selected 8115 patients with osteoporosis (T-score ≤ - 2.5) and 55,942 healthy individuals (T-score > - 1) from a clinical database (N = 95,223). Monocytes from GD patients were evaluated in relation to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, inflammasome activation, and osteoclastogenesis. An in vitro model of GD patient's cells treated with adeno-associated virus 9 (AAV9)-GBA1 to assess GBA1 enzyme activity, chitotriosidase activity, ER stress, and osteoclast differentiation. Longitudinal dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) data tracking bone density in patients with Gaucher disease (GD) undergoing enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) over an extended period.

RESULTS: The GBA1 gene variant rs11264345 was significantly associated [P < 0.002, Odds Ratio (OR) = 1.06] with an increased risk of bone disease. Upregulation of Calnexin, NOD-, LRR- and pyrin domain-containing protein 3 (NLRP3) and Apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a C-terminal caspase recruitment domain (ASC) was positively associated with osteoclastogenesis in patients with GD. In vitro AAV9-GBA1 treatment of GD patient cells led to enhanced GBA1 enzyme activity, reduced chitotriosidase activity, diminished ER stress, and decreased osteoclast differentiation. Long-term bone density data suggests that initiating ERT earlier in GD leads to greater improvements in bone density.

CONCLUSIONS: Elevated ER stress and inflammasome activation are indicative of osteoporosis development, suggesting the need for clinical monitoring of patients with GD. Furthermore, disease-associated variant in the GBA1 gene may constitute a risk factor predisposing specific populations to osteoporosis.

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