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Ann Neurol. 1978 Jan;3(1):60-6.

McArdle disease: the mystery of reappearing phosphorylase activity in muscle culture--a fetal isoenzyme.


To understand the apparently paradoxical appearance of phosphorylase in muscle cultured from patients with McArdle disease, the enzyme in muscle culture was studied immunologically and electrophoretically. Antibody against normal human muscle phosphorylase completely inhibited the enzyme of adult muscle, but it had no effect on phosphorylase activity of muscle cultures from normal individuals or patients with McArdle disease. Also, amounts of antibody that would completely inhibit phosphorylase in mature muscle left about 30% of the activity in muscle obtained from human fetus at four months' gestation. Acrylamide-disc and slab-gel electrophoresis showed a single band of phorphorylase activity in adult muscle and two bands in fetal muscle. This suggested that at four months' gestation, both fetal and mature forms are present but that only the mature isoenzyme is inhibited by the antibody. The enzyme from cultured muscle gave only a single band, with the electrophoretic mobility of the fetal isoenzyme. These data suggest that phosphorylase activity in muscle cultured from patients with McArdle disease is due to a fetal isoenzyme whose genetic control is different from that of the mature enzyme.

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