Mutations and phenotype in isolated glycerol kinase deficiency

Am J Hum Genet. 1996 Jun;58(6):1205-11.


We demonstrate that isolated glycerol kinase (GK) deficiency in three families results from mutation of the Xp21 GK gene. GK mutations were detected in four patients with widely differing phenotypes. Patient 1 had a splice-site mutation causing premature termination. His general health was good despite absent GK activity, indicating that isolated GK deficiency can be silent. Patient 2 had GK deficiency and a severe phenotype involving psychomotor retardation and growth delay, bone dysplasia, and seizures, similar to the severe phenotype of one of the first described cases of GK deficiency. His younger brother, patient 3, also had GK deficiency, but so far his development has been normal. GK exon 17 was deleted in both brothers, implicating additional factors in causation of the severe phenotype of patient 2. Patient 4 had both GK deficiency with mental retardation and a GK missense mutation (D440V). Possible explanations for the phenotypic variation of these four patients include ascertainment bias; metabolic or environmental stress as a precipitating factor in revealing GK-related changes, as has previously been described in juvenile GK deficiency; and interactions with functional polymorphisms in other genes that alter the effect of GK deficiency on normal development.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / enzymology
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / genetics*
  • Adolescent
  • Alternative Splicing
  • Base Sequence
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • DNA Primers
  • Exons
  • Fibroblasts / enzymology
  • Glycerol Kinase / deficiency*
  • Glycerol Kinase / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Introns
  • Leukocytes / enzymology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation*
  • Phenotype
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Sequence Deletion
  • X Chromosome*


  • DNA Primers
  • Glycerol Kinase