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NAGA gene


Normal Function

The NAGA gene provides instructions for making the enzyme alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase. This enzyme works in the lysosomes, which are compartments within cells that digest and recycle materials. Within lysosomes, the enzyme helps break down complexes called glycoproteins and glycolipids, which consist of sugar molecules attached to certain proteins and fats. Specifically, alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase helps remove a molecule called alpha-N-acetylgalactosamine from sugars in these complexes.

Health Conditions Related to Genetic Changes

Schindler disease

Approximately seven NAGA gene mutations have been identified in people with Schindler disease. Most of these mutations are believed to change the 3-dimensional shape of the alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase enzyme, interfering with its ability to break down glycoproteins and glycolipids. These substances accumulate in the lysosomes and cause cells to malfunction and eventually die. Cell damage in the various tissues and organs of the body leads to neurological problems and the other signs and symptoms of Schindler disease.

More About This Health Condition

Other Names for This Gene

  • Acetylgalactosaminidase, alpha-N- (alpha-galactosidase B)
  • alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase precursor
  • D22S674
  • GALB
  • N-acetylgalactosaminidase, alpha-

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


  • Clark NE, Garman SC. The 1.9 a structure of human alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase: The molecular basis of Schindler and Kanzaki diseases. J Mol Biol. 2009 Oct 23;393(2):435-47. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2009.08.021. Epub 2009 Aug 14. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • Desnick RJ, Wang AM. Schindler disease: an inherited neuroaxonal dystrophy due to alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase deficiency. J Inherit Metab Dis. 1990;13(4):549-59. doi: 10.1007/BF01799512. Citation on PubMed
  • Kanekura T, Sakuraba H, Matsuzawa F, Aikawa S, Doi H, Hirabayashi Y, Yoshii N, Fukushige T, Kanzaki T. Three dimensional structural studies of alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase (alpha-NAGA) in alpha-NAGA deficiency (Kanzaki disease): different gene mutations cause peculiar structural changes in alpha-NAGAs resulting in different substrate specificities and clinical phenotypes. J Dermatol Sci. 2005 Jan;37(1):15-20. doi: 10.1016/j.jdermsci.2004.09.005. Epub 2004 Dec 8. Citation on PubMed
  • Keulemans JL, Reuser AJ, Kroos MA, Willemsen R, Hermans MM, van den Ouweland AM, de Jong JG, Wevers RA, Renier WO, Schindler D, Coll MJ, Chabas A, Sakuraba H, Suzuki Y, van Diggelen OP. Human alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase (alpha-NAGA) deficiency: new mutations and the paradox between genotype and phenotype. J Med Genet. 1996 Jun;33(6):458-64. doi: 10.1136/jmg.33.6.458. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • Michalski JC, Klein A. Glycoprotein lysosomal storage disorders: alpha- and beta-mannosidosis, fucosidosis and alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase deficiency. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1999 Oct 8;1455(2-3):69-84. doi: 10.1016/s0925-4439(99)00077-0. Citation on PubMed
  • Sakuraba H, Matsuzawa F, Aikawa SI, Doi H, Kotani M, Nakada H, Fukushige T, Kanzaki T. Structural and immunocytochemical studies on alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase deficiency (Schindler/Kanzaki disease). J Hum Genet. 2004;49(1):1-8. doi: 10.1007/s10038-003-0098-z. Epub 2003 Dec 19. Citation on PubMed

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.