Effect of genotype on galactose-1-phosphate in classic galactosemia patients

Mol Genet Metab. 2018 Nov;125(3):258-265. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2018.08.012. Epub 2018 Aug 23.


Impaired activity of galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase (GALT) causes classic galactosemia (OMIM 230400), characterized by the accumulation of galactose-1-phosphate (GAL1P) in patients' red blood cells (RBCs). Our recent study demonstrated a correlation between RBC GAL1P and long-term outcomes in galactosemia patients. Here, we analyze biochemical and molecular results in 77 classic galactosemia patients to evaluate the association between GALT genotypes and GAL1P concentration in RBCs. Experimental data from model organisms were also included to assess the correlation between GAL1P and predicted residual activity of each genotype. Although all individuals in this study showed markedly reduced RBC GALT activity, we observed significant differences in RBC GAL1P concentrations among galactosemia genotypes. While levels of GAL1P on treatment did not correlate with RBC GALT activities (p = 0.166), there was a negative nonlinear correlation between mean GAL1P concentrations and predicted residual enzyme activity of genotype (p = 0.004). These studies suggest that GAL1P levels in RBCs on treatment likely reflect the overall functional impairment of GALT in patients with galactosemia.

Keywords: Galactose-1-phosphate; Galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase; Galactosemia.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Erythrocytes / metabolism*
  • Erythrocytes / pathology
  • Female
  • Galactosemias / blood
  • Galactosemias / genetics*
  • Galactosemias / pathology
  • Galactosephosphates / blood*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • UTP-Hexose-1-Phosphate Uridylyltransferase / genetics*
  • Young Adult


  • Galactosephosphates
  • galactose-1-phosphate
  • UTP-Hexose-1-Phosphate Uridylyltransferase