Background: Glycogen storage disease type IV (GSD-IV) is a clinically heterogeneous autosomal recessive disorder due to glycogen branching enzyme (GBE) deficiency and resulting in the accumulation of an amylopectin-like polysaccharide. The typical presentation is liver disease of childhood, progressing to lethal cirrhosis. The neuromuscular form of GSD-IV varies in onset (perinatal, congenital, juvenile, or adult) and severity.
Objective: To identify the molecular bases of different neuromuscular forms of GSD-IV and to establish possible genotype/phenotype correlations.
Methods: Eight patients with GBE deficiency had different neuromuscular presentations: three had fetal akinesia deformation sequence (FADS), three had congenital myopathy, one had juvenile myopathy, and one had combined myopathic and hepatic features. In all patients, the promoter and the entire coding region of the GBE gene at the RNA and genomic level were sequenced.
Results: Nine novel mutations were identified, including nonsense, missense, deletion, insertion, and splice-junction mutations. The three cases with FADS were homozygous, whereas all other cases were compound heterozygotes.
Conclusions: This study expands the spectrum of mutations in the GBE gene and confirms that the neuromuscular presentation of GSD-IV is clinically and genetically heterogeneous.