GNE myopathy associated with congenital thrombocytopenia: a report of two siblings

Neuromuscul Disord. 2014 Dec;24(12):1068-72. doi: 10.1016/j.nmd.2014.07.008. Epub 2014 Aug 8.


GNE myopathy is an autosomal recessive muscular disorder caused by mutations in the gene encoding the key enzyme in sialic acid biosynthesis, UDP-N-acetylglucosamine 2-epimerase/N-acetylmannosamine kinase (GNE/MNK). Here, we report two siblings with myopathy with rimmed vacuoles and congenital thrombocytopenia who harbored two compound heterozygous GNE mutations, p.V603L and p.G739S. Thrombocytopenia, which is characterized by shortened platelet lifetime rather than ineffective thrombopoiesis, has been observed since infancy. We performed exome sequencing and array CGH to identify the underlying genetic etiology of thrombocytopenia. No pathogenic variants were detected among the known causative genes of recessively inherited thrombocytopenia; yet, candidate variants in two genes that followed an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance, including previously identified GNE mutations, were detected. Alternatively, it is possible that the decreased activity of GNE/MNK itself, which would lead to decreased sialic content in platelets, is associated with thrombocytopenia in these patients. Further investigations are required to clarify the association between GNE myopathy and the pathogenesis of thrombocytopenia.

Keywords: Distal myopathy with rimmed vacuoles; Exome sequencing; GNE; Sialic acid; Thrombocytopenia; UDP-N-acetylglucosamine 2-epimerase/N-acetylmannosamine kinase.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Platelets / pathology
  • Blood Platelets / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multienzyme Complexes / genetics*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Muscular Diseases / genetics*
  • Muscular Diseases / pathology
  • Muscular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Mutation
  • Siblings
  • Thrombocytopenia / genetics*
  • Thrombocytopenia / pathology
  • Thrombocytopenia / physiopathology*


  • Multienzyme Complexes
  • UDP-N-acetylglucosamine 2-epimerase - N-acetylmannosamine kinase