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Muscle biopsy extracts from a series of 6 patients with McArdle's disease were investigated by analytical SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, to establish the presence or absence of the myophosphorylase protein subunit. In 4 cases, the band corresponding to the myophosphorylase subunit was totally absent from the electrophoretic staining pattern, and in 2 cases was present, but with a greatly reduced staining intensity compared with control normal patients; thus in none of the cases of McArdle's disease investigated was there evidence for a myophosphorylase subunit band of comparable staining intensity to that found in control normal patients. This result contrasts with previously reported findings (Feit and Brooke 1976) which suggested that McArdle's disease exists in biochemically heterogeneous forms; in one form of the disease myophosphorylase being totally absent and in a second form present to a similar extent as normal, but in an inactive form. On the basis of the results reported in this paper, we would suggest that myophosphorylase deficiency is a single gene disorder characterized by the absence or marked reduction of the myophosphorylase protein.
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Accepted: September 12, 1986
Received in revised form: September 12, 1986
Received: July 4, 1986
© 1987 Published by Elsevier Inc.