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HPSE2 gene

heparanase 2 (inactive)

Normal Function

The HPSE2 gene provides instructions for making a protein called heparanase 2. Little is known about this protein, but its structure is similar to that of another protein called heparanase 1. Heparanase 1 is an enzyme that splits (cleaves) molecules called heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) by removing the heparan sulfate portion (the side chain).

HSPGs are important parts of the lattice of proteins and other molecules outside the cell (extracellular matrix) and of basement membranes, which are thin, sheet-like structures that separate and support cells in many tissues. Cleavage of HSPGs by heparanase 1 may lead to changes in the basement membrane or extracellular matrix that allow cell movement or release of substances from the cell. The specific function of the heparanase 2 enzyme is not well understood, but studies suggest that it may block the action of heparanase 1.

Health Conditions Related to Genetic Changes


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Ochoa syndrome

At least nine HPSE2 gene mutations have been identified in people with Ochoa syndrome (also called urofacial syndrome), a disorder that causes urinary problems and unusual facial expressions. These mutations result in changes in the heparanase 2 protein that likely prevent it from functioning. The connection between HPSE2 gene mutations and the features of Ochoa syndrome are unclear. Because the areas of the brain that control facial expression and urination are in close proximity, some researchers have suggested that the genetic changes may lead to an abnormality in this brain region that may account for the symptoms of Ochoa syndrome. Other researchers believe that a defective heparanase 2 protein may lead to problems with the development of the urinary tract or with muscle function in the face and bladder.

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Other Names for This Gene

  • heparanase 2
  • heparanase-2
  • HPA2
  • HPR2

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


  • Al Badr W, Al Bader S, Otto E, Hildebrandt F, Ackley T, Peng W, Xu J, Li J, Owens KM, Bloom D, Innis JW. Exome capture and massively parallel sequencing identifies a novel HPSE2 mutation in a Saudi Arabian child with Ochoa (urofacial) syndrome. J Pediatr Urol. 2011 Oct;7(5):569-73. doi: 10.1016/j.jpurol.2011.02.034. Epub 2011 Mar 29. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • Daly SB, Urquhart JE, Hilton E, McKenzie EA, Kammerer RA, Lewis M, Kerr B, Stuart H, Donnai D, Long DA, Burgu B, Aydogdu O, Derbent M, Garcia-Minaur S, Reardon W, Gener B, Shalev S, Smith R, Woolf AS, Black GC, Newman WG. Mutations in HPSE2 cause urofacial syndrome. Am J Hum Genet. 2010 Jun 11;86(6):963-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2010.05.006. Erratum In: Am J Hum Genet. 2010 Aug 13;87(2):309. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • Pang J, Zhang S, Yang P, Hawkins-Lee B, Zhong J, Zhang Y, Ochoa B, Agundez JA, Voelckel MA, Fisher RB, Gu W, Xiong WC, Mei L, She JX, Wang CY. Loss-of-function mutations in HPSE2 cause the autosomal recessive urofacial syndrome. Am J Hum Genet. 2010 Jun 11;86(6):957-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2010.04.016. Erratum In: Am J Hum Genet. 2010 Jul 9;87(1):161. Fisher, Richard B [added]. 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.