GNE myopathy: from clinics and genetics to pathology and research strategies

Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2018 May 2;13(1):70. doi: 10.1186/s13023-018-0802-x.


GNE myopathy is an ultra-rare autosomal recessive disease, which starts as a distal muscle weakness and ultimately leads to a wheelchair bound state. Molecular research and animal modelling significantly moved forward understanding of GNE myopathy mechanisms and suggested therapeutic interventions to alleviate the symptoms. Multiple therapeutic attempts are being made to supplement sialic acid depleted in GNE myopathy muscle cells. Translational research field provided valuable knowledge through natural history studies, patient registries and clinical trial, which significantly contributed to bringing forward an era of GNE myopathy treatment. In this review, we are summarising current GNE myopathy, scientific trends and open questions, which would be of significant interest for a wide neuromuscular diseases community.

Keywords: DMRV; Distal myopathy; GNE myopathy; HIBM; Nonaka disease; QSM; Sialic acid.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Distal Myopathies / drug therapy
  • Distal Myopathies / genetics*
  • Distal Myopathies / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Muscle Weakness / drug therapy
  • Muscle Weakness / genetics
  • Muscle Weakness / pathology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • N-Acetylneuraminic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Research Design


  • N-Acetylneuraminic Acid

Supplementary concepts

  • Distal myopathy, Nonaka type