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ARSB gene

arylsulfatase B

Normal Function

The ARSB gene provides instructions for producing an enzyme called arylsulfatase B, which is involved in the breakdown of large sugar molecules called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). Specifically, arylsulfatase B removes a chemical group known as a sulfate from two GAGs called dermatan sulfate and chondroitin sulfate. Arylsulfatase B is located in lysosomes, compartments within cells that digest and recycle different types of molecules.

Health Conditions Related to Genetic Changes

Mucopolysaccharidosis type VI

More than 130 mutations in the ARSB gene have been found to cause mucopolysaccharidosis type VI (MPS VI). Most of these mutations change single DNA building blocks (nucleotides) in the gene. All of the mutations that cause MPS VI reduce or eliminate the function of arylsulfatase B. It usually cannot be determined whether a certain mutation will cause severe or mild MPS VI; however, mutations known to result in the complete absence of arylsulfatase B activity cause severe signs and symptoms.

The lack of arylsulfatase B activity leads to the accumulation of GAGs within lysosomes. Conditions such as MPS VI that cause molecules to build up inside the lysosomes are called lysosomal storage disorders. The accumulation of GAGs within lysosomes increases the size of cells, which is why many tissues and organs are enlarged in this disorder. Researchers believe that the buildup of GAGs may also interfere with the functions of other proteins inside lysosomes, triggering inflammation and cell death.

More About This Health Condition

Other Names for This Gene

  • arylsulfatase B isoform 1 precursor
  • ASB
  • chondroitinase
  • chondroitinsulfatase
  • G4S
  • MPS6
  • N-acetylgalactosamine 4-sulfate sulfohydrolase
  • N-acetylgalactosamine-4-sulfatase

Additional Information & Resources

Tests Listed in the Genetic Testing Registry

Scientific Articles on PubMed

Catalog of Genes and Diseases from OMIM

Gene and Variant Databases


  • Clarke LA. The mucopolysaccharidoses: a success of molecular medicine. Expert Rev Mol Med. 2008 Jan 18;10:e1. doi: 10.1017/S1462399408000550. Citation on PubMed
  • Garrido E, Chabas A, Coll MJ, Blanco M, Dominguez C, Grinberg D, Vilageliu L, Cormand B. Identification of the molecular defects in Spanish and Argentinian mucopolysaccharidosis VI (Maroteaux-Lamy syndrome) patients, including 9 novel mutations. Mol Genet Metab. 2007 Sep-Oct;92(1-2):122-30. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2007.06.002. Epub 2007 Jul 20. Citation on PubMed
  • Garrido E, Cormand B, Hopwood JJ, Chabas A, Grinberg D, Vilageliu L. Maroteaux-Lamy syndrome: functional characterization of pathogenic mutations and polymorphisms in the arylsulfatase B gene. Mol Genet Metab. 2008 Jul;94(3):305-12. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2008.02.012. Epub 2008 Apr 10. Citation on PubMed
  • Karageorgos L, Brooks DA, Pollard A, Melville EL, Hein LK, Clements PR, Ketteridge D, Swiedler SJ, Beck M, Giugliani R, Harmatz P, Wraith JE, Guffon N, Leao Teles E, Sa Miranda MC, Hopwood JJ. Mutational analysis of 105 mucopolysaccharidosis type VI patients. Hum Mutat. 2007 Sep;28(9):897-903. doi: 10.1002/humu.20534. Citation on PubMed
  • Litjens T, Hopwood JJ. Mucopolysaccharidosis type VI: Structural and clinical implications of mutations in N-acetylgalactosamine-4-sulfatase. Hum Mutat. 2001 Oct;18(4):282-95. doi: 10.1002/humu.1190. Citation on PubMed
  • Tessitore A, Pirozzi M, Auricchio A. Abnormal autophagy, ubiquitination, inflammation and apoptosis are dependent upon lysosomal storage and are useful biomarkers of mucopolysaccharidosis VI. Pathogenetics. 2009 Jun 16;2(1):4. doi: 10.1186/1755-8417-2-4. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central

The information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.