Lysosomal acid lipase deficiency is an inherited condition characterized by problems with the breakdown and use of fats and cholesterol in the body (lipid metabolism). In affected individuals, harmful amounts of fats (lipids) accumulate in cells and tissues throughout the body, which typically causes liver disease. There are two forms of the condition. The most severe and rarest form begins in infancy. The less severe form can begin from childhood to late adulthood.
Mutations in the LIPA gene cause lysosomal acid lipase deficiency. The LIPA gene provides instructions for producing an enzyme called lysosomal acid lipase. This enzyme is found in cell compartments called lysosomes, which digest and recycle materials the cell no longer needs. The lysosomal acid lipase enzyme breaks down lipids such as cholesteryl esters and triglycerides. The lipids produced through these processes, cholesterol and fatty acids, are used by the body or transported to the liver for removal.
Lysosomal acid lipase deficiency is estimated to occur in 1 in 40,000 to 300,000 individuals, varying by population. The later-onset form is more common than the early-onset form.
This condition is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern, which means both copies of the gene in each cell have mutations. The parents of an individual with an autosomal recessive condition each carry one copy of the mutated gene, but they typically do not show signs and symptoms of the condition.
Published Date: February 01, 2017Published By: National Institutes of Health