The development and recent approval of recombinant acid alpha-glucosidase for enzyme replacement therapy have been major milestones in Pompe disease research. Acid alpha-glucosidase is the enzyme responsible for degradation of glycogen polymers to glucose in the acidic milieu of the lysosomes. Cardiac and skeletal muscles are the two major tissues affected by the accumulation of glycogen within the lysosomes. Both cardiomyopathy and skeletal muscle myopathy are observed in patients with complete enzyme deficiency; this form of the disease is fatal within the first year of life. Skeletal muscle myopathy eventually leading to respiratory insufficiency is the predominant manifestation of partial enzyme deficiency. The recombinant enzyme alglucosidase alfa is the first drug ever approved for this devastating disorder. This review discusses the benefits and the shortcomings of the new therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas