Three siblings suffered from an unusual disorder of cyclic vomiting and congenital hepatic fibrosis. Serum transferrin isoelectric focusing showed increased asialo- and disialotransferrin isoforms as seen in the carbohydrate-deficient glycoprotein (CDG) syndrome type I. Phosphomannomutase, which is deficient in most patients with type I CDG syndrome, was found to be normal in all three patients. Structural analysis of serum transferrin revealed nonglycosylated, hypoglycosylated, and normoglycosylated transferrin molecules. These findings suggested a defect in the early glycosylation pathway. Phosphomannose isomerase was found to be deficient and the defect was present in leucocytes, fibroblasts, and liver tissue. Phosphomannose isomerase deficiency appears to be a novel glycosylation disorder, which is biochemically indistinguishable from CDG syndrome type I. However, the clinical presentation is entirely different.
Copyright 1998 Academic Press.