Associations between Neurological Diseases and Mutations in the Human Glycyl-tRNA Synthetase

Biochemistry (Mosc). 2021 Jan;86(Suppl 1):S12-S23. doi: 10.1134/S0006297921140029.


Aminoacyl-RNA synthetases (aaRSs) are among the key enzymes of protein biosynthesis. They are responsible for conducting the first step in the protein biosynthesis, namely attaching amino acids to the corresponding tRNA molecules both in cytoplasm and mitochondria. More and more research demonstrates that mutations in the genes encoding aaRSs lead to the development of various neurodegenerative diseases, such as incurable Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) and distal spinal muscular atrophy. Some mutations result in the loss of tRNA aminoacylation activity, while other mutants retain their classical enzyme activity. In the latter case, disease manifestations are associated with additional neuron-specific functions of aaRSs. At present, seven aaRSs (GlyRS, TyrRS, AlaRS, HisRS, TrpRS, MetRS, and LysRS) are known to be involved in the CMT etiology with glycyl-tRNA synthetase (GlyRS) being the most studied of them.

Keywords: ALS; CMT; GARS; SMA; aaRS; dHMN.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease / enzymology
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease / genetics
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Glycine-tRNA Ligase / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscular Atrophy, Spinal / enzymology
  • Muscular Atrophy, Spinal / genetics
  • Muscular Atrophy, Spinal / physiopathology
  • Mutation*
  • Nervous System Diseases / enzymology*
  • Nervous System Diseases / genetics
  • Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Neurons / enzymology
  • Neurons / physiology


  • Glycine-tRNA Ligase