Glycogen branching enzyme deficiency (glycogen storage disease type IV, GSD-IV) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder of the glycogen synthesis with high mortality. Two female newborns showed severe hypotonia at birth and both died of cardiorespiratory failure, at 4 and 12 weeks, respectively. In both patients, muscle biopsies showed deposits of PAS-positive diastase-resistant material and biochemical analysis in cultured fibroblasts showed markedly reduced glycogen branching enzyme activity. Direct sequencing of GBE1 gene revealed that patient 1 was homozygous for a novel c.691 + 5 g > c in intron 5 (IVS5 + 5 g > c). RT-PCR analysis of GBE1 transcripts from fibroblasts cDNA showed that this mutation produce aberrant splicing. Patient 2 was homozygous for a novel c.1643G > A mutation leading to a stop at codon 548 in exon 13 (p.W548X). These data underscore that in GSD-IV a severe phenotype correlates with null mutations, and indicate that RNA analysis is necessary to characterize functional consequences of intronic mutations.

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Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Assereto, S., van Diggelen, O., Diogo, L., Morava, E., Cassandrini, D., Carreira, I., … Bruno, C. (2007). Null mutations and lethal congenital form of glycogen storage disease type IV. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 361(2), 445–450. doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2007.07.074