Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy 2I: phenotypic variability within a large consanguineous Bedouin family associated with a novel FKRP mutation

Tamar Harel, Yael Goldberg, Stavit A Shalev, Ilana Chervinski, Rivka Ofir, Ohad S Birk
European Journal of Human Genetics: EJHG 2004, 12 (1): 38-43
Limb-girdle muscular dystrophies (LGMDs) represent a group of diseases characterized mainly by muscle wasting of the upper and lower limbs, with a wide range of clinical severity. The clinical heterogeneity is paralleled by molecular heterogeneity; each of the 10 forms of autosomal-recessive LGMD recognized to date is caused by mutations in a distinct gene. In a large consanguineous Bedouin tribe living in northern Israel, 15 individuals affected by LGMD demonstrate an autosomal recessive pattern of inheritance. A genome-wide screen followed by fine mapping in this family revealed linkage to a region on chromosome 19 harboring the fukutin-related protein gene (FKRP), with a maximal LOD score of 4.8 for D19S902. FKRP, encoding a putative glycosyltransferase, has been implicated in causing congenital muscular dystrophy 1C (MDC1C), and has recently been shown to be mutated in LGMD2I. We identified a novel missense mutation in exon 4 of the FKRP gene in all the patients studied. Although all affected individuals were homozygous for the same mutation, a marked phenotypic variability was apparent within the family. This finding may suggest a role of modifier genes and environmental factors in LGMD2I. Moreover, the demonstration that an identical, novel mutation in the FKRP gene can cause a muscle disease of either a congenital onset or of a later onset within a single family provides clinical support to the molecular evidence, suggesting that MDC1C and LGMD2I are overlapping ends of one and the same entity.

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