Glycogen storage disease type VI (GSD6) defines a group of disorders that cause hepatomegaly and hypoglycemia with reduced liver phosphorylase activity. The course of these disorders is generally mild, but definitive diagnosis requires invasive procedures. We analyzed a Mennonite kindred with an autosomal recessive form of GSD6 to determine the molecular defect and develop a non-invasive diagnostic test. Linkage analysis was performed using genetic markers flanking the liver glycogen phosphorylase gene (PYGL), which was suspected to be the cause of the disorder on biochemical grounds. Mennonite GSD6 was linked to the PYGL locus with a multipoint LOD score of 4.7. The PYGL gene was analyzed for mutations by sequencing genomic DNA. Sequencing of genomic DNA revealed a splice site abnormality of the intron 13 splice donor. Confirmation of the genomic mutation was performed by sequencing RT-PCR products, which showed heterogeneous PYGL mRNA lacking all or part of exon 13 in affected persons. This study is the first to demonstrate that a mutation in the PYGL gene can cause GSD6. This mutation is estimated to be present on 3% of Mennonite chromosomes and the disease affects 0.1% of that population. Determination of this mutation provides a basis for the development of a simple and non-invasive diagnostic test for the disease and the carrier state in this population and confirms biochemical data showing the importance of this gene in glucose homeostasis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology