Liver glycogen storage diseases due to phosphorylase system deficiencies: diagnosis thanks to non invasive blood enzymatic and molecular studies

Mol Genet Metab. 2011 Sep-Oct;104(1-2):137-43. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2011.05.010. Epub 2011 May 17.


Glycogen storage disease (GSD) due to a deficient hepatic phosphorylase system defines a genetically heterogeneous group of disorders that mainly manifests in children. We investigated 45 unrelated children in whom a liver GSD VI or IX was suspected on the basis of clinical symptoms including hepatomegaly, increased serum transaminases, postprandial lactatemia and/or mild fasting hypoglycemia. Liver phosphorylase and phosphorylase b kinase activities studied in peripheral blood cells allowed to suspect diagnosis in 37 cases but was uninformative in 5. Sequencing of liver phosphorylase genes was useful to establish an accurate diagnosis. Causative mutations were found either in the PYGL (11 patients), PHKA2 (26 patients), PHKG2 (three patients) or in the PHKB (three patients) genes. Eleven novel disease causative mutations, five missense (p.N188K, p.D228Y, p.P382L, p.R491H, p.L500R) and six truncating mutations (c.501_502ins361pb, c.528+2T>C, c.856-29_c.1518+614del, c.1620+1G>C, p.E703del and c.2313-1G>T) were identified in the PYGL gene. Seventeen novel disease causative mutations, ten missense (p.A42P, p.Q95R, p.G131D, p.G131V, p.Q134R, p.G187R, p.G300V, p.G300A, p.C326Y, p.W820G) and seven truncating (c.537+5G>A, p.G396DfsX28, p.Q404X, p.N653X, p.L855PfsX87, and two large deletions) were identified in the PHKA2 gene. Four novel truncating mutations (p.R168X, p.Q287X, p.I268PfsX12 and c.272-1G>C) were identified in the PHKG2 gene and three (c.573_577del, p.R364X, c.2427+3A>G) in the PHKB gene. Patients with PHKG2 mutations evolved towards cirrhosis. Molecular analysis of GSD VI or IX genes allows to confirm diagnosis suspected on the basis of enzymatic analysis and to establish diagnosis and avoid liver biopsy when enzymatic studies are not informative in blood cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Glycogen Storage Disease / blood*
  • Glycogen Storage Disease / diagnosis*
  • Glycogen Storage Disease / enzymology
  • Glycogen Storage Disease / genetics
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Liver / enzymology*
  • Liver / pathology*
  • Male
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Phosphorylase Kinase / deficiency*
  • Phosphorylase Kinase / genetics
  • Phosphorylases / deficiency*
  • Phosphorylases / genetics


  • Phosphorylases
  • Phosphorylase Kinase