Sialidosis is a severe inherited disorder that affects many organs and tissues, including the nervous system. This disorder is divided into two types, which are distinguished by the age at which symptoms appear and the severity of features.
Mutations in the NEU1 gene cause sialidosis. This gene provides instructions for making an enzyme called neuraminidase 1 (NEU1), which is found in lysosomes. Lysosomes are compartments within the cell that use enzymes to digest and recycle materials. The NEU1 enzyme helps break down large sugar molecules attached to certain proteins by removing a substance known as sialic acid.
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