Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract. Fanconi-Bickel syndrome is characterized by hepato-renal glycogenosis with severe renal tubular dysfunction and rickets. It has recently been found to be associated with GLUT2 mutations in three families. In another family, low activities of liver phosphorylase kinase (Phk) have been observed, suggesting that Fanconi-Bickel syndrome might be genetically heterogeneous. We have analyzed this family for mutations in the GLUT2 gene and in the three Phk subunit genes that can cause liver glycogenosis (PHKA2, PHKB, and PHKG2). The coding sequences of all three Phk genes are normal but we have identified a homozygous missense mutation (Pro417Leu) in GLUT2. The affected proline residue is completely conserved in all mammalian glucose permease isoforms and even in bacterial sugar transporters and is believed to be critical for the passage of glucose through the permease. Seven affected individuals from different branches of the same large consanguineous sibship all are homozygous for this mutation. These findings indicate that there is no specific subtype of genetic Phk deficiency giving rise to hepato-renal glycogenosis. Rather, they provide further evidence that Fanconi-Bickel syndrome is caused by GLUT2 mutations. The low Phk activity is probably a secondary phenomenon that contributes to the deposition of glycogen in response to the intracellular glucose retention caused by GLUT2 deficiency.
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