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Neuromuscul Disord. 2001 Sep;11(6-7):547-55.

Calpain 3 gene mutations: genetic and clinico-pathologic findings in limb-girdle muscular dystrophy.

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  • 1Department of Ultrastructural Research, National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry (NCNP), Kodaira, Tokyo 187-8502, Japan.


Mutations in the calpain 3 gene have been proven to be responsible for limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD) type 2A. To determine the incidence and genotypes of the calpain 3 (p94) gene mutations in Japanese LGMD patients, we sequenced the gene in 80 patients with clinical characteristics of autosomal recessive or sporadic LGMD. We identified 13 distinct pathogenic mutations in 21 patients (26%), including seven missense mutations, four splice-site mutations and two insertions in which six were novel mutations. Among the 21 patients, 15 (71%) had three types of the common missense (G233V, R461C, D707G) and one insertion (1795-1796insA) mutation. The patients had slowly progressive muscle weakness with age of onset of the disease varying from 6 to 52 years, averaging 20.9. The most striking pathologic findings were the presence of lobulated fibers in 14 patients, especially in the advanced stages. Differing from Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy, opaque (hypercontracted) fibers were very rarely seen. These findings may be helpful in establishing diagnostic screening strategies in Japanese LGMD patients.

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