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Hex- \Hex-\, Hexa \Hex"a\ [Gr. "e`x six. See Six.] A prefix or combining form, used to denote six, sixth, etc.; as, hexatomic, hexabasic.


Hexosaminidase A (alpha polypeptide), also known as HEXA, is an enzyme that in humans is encoded by the HEXA gene, located on the 15th chromosome.

Hexosaminidase A and the cofactor G activator protein catalyze the degradation of the G gangliosides and other molecules containing terminal N-acetyl hexosamines. Hexosaminidase A is a heterodimer composed of an alpha subunit (this protein) and a beta subunit. The alpha subunit polypeptide is encoded by the HEXA gene while the beta subunit is encoded by the HEXB gene. Gene mutations in the gene encoding the beta subunit (HEXB) often result in Sandhoff disease; whereas, mutations in the gene encoding the alpha subunit (HEXA, this gene) decrease the hydrolysis of G gangliosides, which is the main cause of Tay–Sachs disease.