Background: Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2I is caused by mutations in the fukutin-related protein gene (FKRP). FKRP encodes a putative glycosyltransferase protein that is involved in α-dystroglycan glycosylation. Objectives: To identify patients with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2I and to derive genotype-phenotype correlations. Design: Two hundred fourteen patients who showed muscle histopathologic features consistent with muscular dystrophy or myopathy of unknown etiology were studied. The entire 1.5-kilobase FKRP coding sequence from patient DNA was analyzed using denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography of overlapping polymerase chain reaction products, followed by direct sequencing of heteroduplexes. Results: Thirteen patients with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2I (6% of all patients tested) were identified by FKRP mutation analysis, and 7 additional patients were identified by family screening. Six missense mutations (1 novel) were identified. The 826C>A nucleotide change was a common mutation, present in 35% of the mutated chromosomes. Clinical presentations included asymptomatic hyperCKemia, severe early-onset muscular dystrophy, and mild late-onset muscular dystrophy. Dilated cardiomyopathy and ventilatory impairment were frequent features. Significant intrafamilial and interfamilial clinical variability was observed. Conclusions: FKRP mutations are a frequent cause of limb-girdle muscular dystrophies. The degree of respiratory and cardiac insufficiency in patients did not correlate with the severity of muscle involvement. The finding of 2 asymptomatic patients with FKRP mutations suggests that modulating factors may ameliorate the clinical phenotype.
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