A possible biomarker of neurocytolysis in infantile gangliosidoses: aspartate transaminase

Metab Brain Dis. 2019 Apr;34(2):495-503. doi: 10.1007/s11011-019-0391-y. Epub 2019 Feb 2.


Gangliosidoses (GM1 and GM2 gangliosidosis) are rare, autosomal recessive progressive neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disorders caused by defects in the degradation of glycosphingolipids. We aimed to investigate clinical, biochemical and molecular genetic spectrum of Turkish patients with infantile gangliosidoses and examined the potential role of serum aspartate transaminase levels as a biomarker. We confirmed the diagnosis of GM1 and GM2 gangliosidosis based on clinical findings with specific enzyme and/or molecular analyses. We retrospectively reviewed serum aspartate transaminase levels of patients with other biochemical parameters. Serum aspartate transaminase level was elevated in all GM1 and GM2 gangliosidosis patients in whom the test was performed, along with normal alanine transaminase. Aspartate transaminase can be a biochemical diagnostic clue for infantile gangliosidoses. It might be a simple but important biomarker for diagnosis, follow up, prognosis and monitoring of the response for the future therapies in these patients.

Keywords: Aspartate aminotransferase; Aspartate transaminase; Biomarker; GM1-gangliosidosis; Sandhoff disease; Tay-Sachs disease.

MeSH terms

  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / drug effects
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / metabolism*
  • Biomarkers / analysis*
  • Female
  • Gangliosidoses / drug therapy*
  • Gangliosidoses, GM2 / drug therapy
  • Gangliosidosis, GM1 / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sandhoff Disease / drug therapy*


  • Biomarkers
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases