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Am J Hum Genet. 2000 Jun;66(6):1744-56. Epub 2000 Apr 28.

A novel disorder caused by defective biosynthesis of N-linked oligosaccharides due to glucosidase I deficiency.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatal Intensive Care, Ghent University Hospital, B9000 Ghent, Belgium.


Glucosidase I is an important enzyme in N-linked glycoprotein processing, removing specifically distal alpha-1,2-linked glucose from the Glc3Man9GlcNAc2 precursor after its en bloc transfer from dolichyl diphosphate to a nascent polypeptide chain in the endoplasmic reticulum. We have identified a glucosidase I defect in a neonate with severe generalized hypotonia and dysmorphic features. The clinical course was progressive and was characterized by the occurrence of hepatomegaly, hypoventilation, feeding problems, seizures, and fatal outcome at age 74 d. The accumulation of the tetrasaccharide Glc(alpha1-2)Glc(alpha1-3)Glc(alpha1-3)Man in the patient's urine indicated a glycosylation disorder. Enzymological studies on liver tissue and cultured skin fibroblasts revealed a severe glucosidase I deficiency. The residual activity was <3% of that of controls. Glucosidase I activities in cultured skin fibroblasts from both parents were found to be 50% of those of controls. Tissues from the patient subjected to SDS-PAGE followed by immunoblotting revealed strongly decreased amounts of glucosidase I protein in the homogenate of the liver, and a less-severe decrease in cultured skin fibroblasts. Molecular studies showed that the patient was a compound heterozygote for two missense mutations in the glucosidase I gene: (1) one allele harbored a G-->C transition at nucleotide (nt) 1587, resulting in the substitution of Arg at position 486 by Thr (R486T), and (2) on the other allele a T-->C transition at nt 2085 resulted in the substitution of Phe at position 652 by Leu (F652L). The mother was heterozygous for the G-->C transition, whereas the father was heterozygous for the T-->C transition. These base changes were not seen in 100 control DNA samples. A causal relationship between the alpha-glucosidase I deficiency and the disease is postulated.

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