Hydrolyzes the galactose ester bonds of galactosylceramide, galactosylsphingosine, lactosylceramide, and monogalactosyldiglyceride. Enzyme with very low activity responsible for the lysosomal catabolism of galactosylceramide, a major lipid in myelin, kidney and epithelial cells of small intestine and colon. Defects in GALC are the cause of leukodystrophy globoid cell (GLD); also known as Krabbe disease. This autosomal recessive disorder results in the insufficient catabolism of several galactolipids that are important in the production of normal myelin. Clinically, the most frequent form is the infantile form. Most patients (90%) present before six months of age with irritability, spasticity, arrest of motor and mental development, and bouts of temperature elevation without infection. This is followed by myoclonic jerks of arms and legs, oposthotonus, hypertonic fits, and mental regression, which progresses to a severe decerebrate condition with no voluntary movements and death from respiratory infections or cerebral hyperpyrexia before 2 years of age. However, a significant number of cases with later onset, presenting with unexplained blindness, weakness and/or progressive motor, and sensory neuropathy that can progress to severe mental incapacity and death, have been identified. Belongs to the glycosyl hydrolase 59 family. 4 isoforms of the human protein are produced by alternative splicing. Note: This description may include information from UniProtKB.
Protein type: EC 22.214.171.124; Hydrolase; Lipid Metabolism - sphingolipid