Progressive neurologic deterioration and renal failure due to storage of glutamyl ribose-5-phosphate

N Engl J Med. 1984 Jul 19;311(3):152-5. doi: 10.1056/NEJM198407193110305.


A six-year-old boy presented with a history of seizures, progressive neurologic deterioration, and proteinuria. Physical examination revealed mildly coarse facies, failure to thrive, generalized hypotonia with muscle wasting, and optic atrophy; there was no organomegaly. The family history suggested an X-linked recessive inheritance. The electroencephalogram, electroretinogram, evoked potentials, and computed axial tomography of the brain were abnormal. Urine oligosaccharide chromatography, urine amino acids and organic acids, and results of leukocyte and fibroblast lysosomal-enzyme assays for the known storage diseases were normal; however, conjunctival and renal biopsy specimens contained enlarged lysosomes on electron microscopy. The patient had progressive neurologic deterioration and died of renal failure at eight years of age. A compound identified as glutamyl ribose-5-phosphate was purified from the brain (0.96 mumol per gram, wet weight) and kidney (0.60 mumol per gram, wet weight). This compound is the linkage group in ADP-ribosylation of proteins, an important regulatory process in gene expression and DNA repair. We believe this new disorder represents a glycoproteinosis that results in the cytoplasmic storage of glutamyl ribose-5-phosphate.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / ultrastructure
  • Brain Diseases, Metabolic / etiology*
  • Brain Diseases, Metabolic / pathology
  • Child
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney / ultrastructure
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / etiology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / pathology
  • Liver / ultrastructure
  • Lysosomes / enzymology
  • Male
  • Pentosephosphates / metabolism*
  • Ribosemonophosphates / metabolism*
  • Sex Chromosomes


  • Histones
  • Pentosephosphates
  • Ribosemonophosphates
  • glutamyl ribose 5-phosphate