GDP-Mannose Pyrophosphorylase B (GMPPB)-Related Disorders

Genes (Basel). 2023 Jan 31;14(2):372. doi: 10.3390/genes14020372.


GDP-mannose pyrophosphorylase B (GMPPB) is a cytoplasmic protein that catalyzes the formation of GDP-mannose. Impaired GMPPB function reduces the amount of GDP-mannose available for the O-mannosylation of α-dystroglycan (α-DG) and ultimately leads to disruptions of the link between α-DG and extracellular proteins, hence dystroglycanopathy. GMPPB-related disorders are inherited in an autosomal recessive manner and caused by mutations in either a homozygous or compound heterozygous state. The clinical spectrum of GMPPB-related disorders spans from severe congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD) with brain and eye abnormalities to mild forms of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD) to recurrent rhabdomyolysis without overt muscle weakness. GMPPB mutations can also lead to the defect of neuromuscular transmission and congenital myasthenic syndrome due to altered glycosylation of the acetylcholine receptor subunits and other synaptic proteins. Such impairment of neuromuscular transmission is a unique feature of GMPPB-related disorders among dystroglycanopathies. LGMD is the most common phenotypic presentation, characterized by predominant proximal weakness involving lower more than upper limbs. Facial, ocular, bulbar, and respiratory muscles are largely spared. Some patients demonstrate fluctuating fatigable weakness suggesting neuromuscular junction involvement. Patients with CMD phenotype often also have structural brain defects, intellectual disability, epilepsy, and ophthalmic abnormalities. Creatine kinase levels are typically elevated, ranging from 2 to >50 times the upper limit of normal. Involvement of the neuromuscular junction is demonstrated by the decrement in the compound muscle action potential amplitude on low-frequency (2-3 Hz) repetitive nerve stimulation in proximal muscles but not in facial muscles. Muscle biopsies typically show myopathic changes with variable degrees of reduced α-DG expression. Higher mobility of β-DG on Western blotting represents a specific feature of GMPPB-related disorders, distinguishing it from other α-dystroglycanopathies. Patients with clinical and electrophysiologic features of neuromuscular transmission defect can respond to acetylcholinesterase inhibitors alone or combined with 3,4 diaminopyridine or salbutamol.

Keywords: GMPPB; congenital muscular dystrophy; congenital myasthenic syndrome; dystroglycanopathy; limb-girdle muscular dystrophy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Dystroglycans / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mannose
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Muscular Dystrophies* / genetics
  • Muscular Dystrophies, Limb-Girdle* / genetics


  • mannose 1-phosphate guanylyltransferase
  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Mannose
  • Dystroglycans

Grants and funding

Regenerative Medicine Minnesota (P008848103) to M.M.