Severe phenotype of phosphorylase kinase-deficient liver glycogenosis with mutations in the PHKG2 gene

Pediatr Res. 2003 Dec;54(6):834-9. doi: 10.1203/01.PDR.0000088069.09275.10. Epub 2003 Aug 20.


Phosphorylase kinase-deficient liver glycogenosis manifests in infancy with hepatomegaly, growth retardation, and elevated plasma aminotransferases and lipids. It can be caused by mutations in three different genes of phosphorylase kinase subunits: PHKA2, PHKB, and PHKG2. It is usually a benign condition, often with complete resolution of symptoms during puberty. A minority of patients displays a more severe phenotype with symptomatic fasting hypoglycemia and abnormal liver histology that may progress to cirrhosis. Three patients with liver cirrhosis in childhood analyzed previously all had PHKG2 mutations. This suggested that this genotype may generally cause a more severe clinical manifestation, but to date PHKG2 mutations have been identified in only seven patients. Here, we report mutation analysis in three new patients with liver phosphorylase kinase deficiency and recurrent hypoglycemia, liver fibrosis, and lack of glucagon response but no overt cirrhosis. In all three patients, PHKG2 mutations were found (H89fs[insC], E157K, D215N, W300X). Three of these mutations are novel, bringing the total number of distinct human PHKG2 mutations to 11, found in 10 patients. We conclude that liver phosphorylase kinase deficiency with a severe phenotype, with or without cirrhosis, is indeed often caused by PHKG2 mutations. These patients require active measures to maintain normoglycemia (raw cornstarch, nocturnal tube feeding), which may also alleviate growth retardation and the development of abnormal liver histology.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Glucagon / metabolism
  • Glycogen Storage Disease / genetics*
  • Glycogen Storage Disease / pathology*
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / genetics
  • Hypoglycemia / pathology
  • Infant
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Liver / pathology*
  • Phenotype
  • Phosphorylase Kinase / deficiency
  • Phosphorylase Kinase / genetics*
  • Point Mutation*
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Glucagon
  • Phosphorylase Kinase