Mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPS I) is a condition that affects many parts of the body.
Mutations in the IDUA gene cause MPS I. The IDUA gene provides instructions for producing an enzyme that is involved in the breakdown of large sugar molecules called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). GAGs were originally called mucopolysaccharides, which is where this condition gets its name. Mutations in the IDUA gene reduce or completely eliminate the function of the IDUA enzyme.
The lack of IDUA enzyme activity leads to the accumulation of GAGs within cells, specifically inside the lysosomes. Lysosomes are compartments in the cell that digest and recycle different types of molecules. Conditions that cause molecules to build up inside the lysosomes, including MPS I, are called lysosomal storage disorders. The accumulation of GAGs increases the size of the lysosomes, which is why many tissues and organs are enlarged in this disorder.
This disorder was once divided into three separate syndromes: Hurler syndrome (MPS I-H), Hurler-Scheie syndrome (MPS I-H/S), and Scheie syndrome (MPS I-S), listed from most to least severe. Because there is so much overlap between each of these three syndromes, MPS I is currently divided into the severe and attenuated types.
Individuals with severe MPS I usually begin to show other symptoms of the disorder within the first year of life, whereas those with the attenuated form may have much milder symptoms that develop later in childhood.