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Eur J Neurol. 2008 May;15(5):525-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2008.02116.x. Epub 2008 Mar 18.

No muscle involvement in myoclonus-dystonia caused by epsilon-sarcoglycan gene mutations.

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Department of Medical Genetics, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Mutations in the epsilon-sarcoglycan gene (SGCE) can cause autosomal dominant inherited myoclonus-dystonia (M-D). Defects in other sarcoglycans; alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta can cause autosomal recessive inherited limb girdle muscular dystrophies. epsilon- and alpha-sarcoglycans are very homologous and may substitute for one-another in different tissues. We therefore investigated whether mutations in SGCE also cause abnormalities of skeletal and myocardial muscle. Six patients with clinically and genetically verified M-D and no signs of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy were included. Skeletal muscle biopsies were obtained from all patients, and endomyocardial muscle biopsy from one of the patients. Morphological and immunohistological investigations were performed and compared with controls. Histological and immunohistological investigations of muscle and clinical assessment of muscle strength and mass showed no difference between M-D patients and controls. Our findings indicate that patients with M-D have no signs or symptoms of muscle disease. This suggests a different role of the sarcoglycan complex epsilonbetagammadelta versus alphabetagammadelta complex in humans, as earlier suggested in rodents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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