, Volume 97, Issue 5, pp 551-556

Genetic deficiencies of the glycogen phosphorylase system

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Several types of glycogen storage disease attributable to a deficiency of phosphorylase or phosphorylase kinase have been described. These diseases have been divided according to clinical symptoms, mode of inheritance, and affected tissue. However, this classification is questionable, as the clinical symptoms of these different diseases are similar, the mode of inheritance is often difficult to establish, and the biochemical assays are subject to several technical problems. A better classification would be based upon the identification of mutations in the respective disease genes. The molecular heterogeneity, however, is large, and at least 10 genes are involved. Mutations have been found in the muscle phosphorylase gene in patients with muscle phosphorylase deficiency, in the gene encoding the liver a subunit of phosphorylase kinase in patients with X-linked liver glycogenosis, and in the gene for the muscle α subunit of phosphorylase kinase in a patient with muscle phosphorylase kinase deficiency. We review here the different deficiencies of the phosphorylase system.