Heterozygous UDP-GlcNAc 2-epimerase and N-acetylmannosamine kinase domain mutations in the GNE gene result in a less severe GNE myopathy phenotype compared to homozygous N-acetylmannosamine kinase domain mutations

Published:April 16, 2012DOI:



      Glucosamine (UDP-N-acetyl)-2-epimerase/N-acetylmannosamine kinase (GNE) myopathy, also called distal myopathy with rimmed vacuoles (DMRV) or hereditary inclusion body myopathy (HIBM), is a rare, progressive autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in the GNE gene. Here, we examined the relationship between genotype and clinical phenotype in participants with GNE myopathy.


      Participants with GNE myopathy were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding medical history and current symptoms.


      A total of 71 participants with genetically confirmed GNE myopathy (27 males and 44 females; mean age, 43.1±13.0 (mean±SD) years) completed the questionnaire. Initial symptoms (e.g., foot drop and lower limb weakness) appeared at a mean age of 24.8±8.3 years. Among the 71 participants, 11 (15.5%) had the ability to walk, with a median time to loss of ambulation of 17.0±2.1 years after disease onset. Participants with a homozygous mutation (p.V572L) in the N-acetylmannosamine kinase domain (KD/KD participants) had an earlier disease onset compared to compound heterozygous participants with mutations in the uridine diphosphate-N-acetylglucosamine (UDP-GlcNAc) 2-epimerase and N-acetylmannosamine kinase domains (ED/KD participants; 26.3±7.3 vs. 21.2±11.1 years, respectively). KD/KD participants were more frequently non-ambulatory compared to ED/KD participants at the time of survey (80% vs. 50%). Data were verified using medical records available from 17 outpatient participants.


      Homozygous KD/KD participants exhibited a more severe phenotype compared to heterozygous ED/KD participants.


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