Null mutations and lethal congenital form of glycogen storage disease type IV

Muscular and Neurodegenerative Disease Unit, Department of Pediatrics, Istituto Giannina Gaslini, University of Genova, Largo G. Gaslini 5, I-16147 Genova, Italy.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (Impact Factor: 2.3). 09/2007; 361(2):445-50. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2007.07.074
Source: PubMed


Glycogen branching enzyme deficiency (glycogen storage disease type IV, GSD-IV) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder of the glycogen synthesis with high mortality. Two female newborns showed severe hypotonia at birth and both died of cardiorespiratory failure, at 4 and 12 weeks, respectively. In both patients, muscle biopsies showed deposits of PAS-positive diastase-resistant material and biochemical analysis in cultured fibroblasts showed markedly reduced glycogen branching enzyme activity. Direct sequencing of GBE1 gene revealed that patient 1 was homozygous for a novel c.691+5 g>c in intron 5 (IVS5+5 g>c). RT-PCR analysis of GBE1 transcripts from fibroblasts cDNA showed that this mutation produce aberrant splicing. Patient 2 was homozygous for a novel c.1643G>A mutation leading to a stop at codon 548 in exon 13 (p.W548X). These data underscore that in GSD-IV a severe phenotype correlates with null mutations, and indicate that RNA analysis is necessary to characterize functional consequences of intronic mutations.

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    ABSTRACT: A diagnosis of GSD-IV was established in three premature, floppy infants based on characteristic, however unusually pleomorphic polyglucosan bodies at the electron microscopic level, glycogen branching enzyme deficiency in two cases, and the identification of GBE1 mutations in two cases. Pleomorphic polyglucosan bodies in muscle fibers and macrophages, and less severe in Schwann cells and microglial cells were noted. Most of the inclusions were granular and membrane-bound; others had an irregular contour, were more electron dense and were not membrane bound, or homogenous ('hyaline'). A paracrystalline pattern of granules was repeatedly noted showing a periodicity of about 10 nm with an angle of about 60 degrees or 120 degrees at sites of changing linear orientation. Malteser crosses were noted under polarized light in the larger inclusions. Some inclusions were PAS positive and others were not. Severely atrophic muscle fibers without inclusions, but with depletion of myofibrils in the plane of section studied indicated the devastating myopathic nature of the disease. Schwann cells and peripheral axons were less severely affected as was the spinal cord. Two novel protein-truncating mutations (c.1077insT, p.V359fsX16; g.101517_127067del25550insCAGTACTAA, DelExon4-7) were identified in these families. The present findings extend previous studies indicating that truncating GBE1 mutations cause a spectrum of severe diseases ranging from generalized intrauterine hydrops to fatal perinatal hypotonia and fatal cardiomyopathy in the first months of life.
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