Autosomal recessive limb-girdle muscular dystrophies are a heterogeneous group of genetic diseases with a wide spectrum of clinical severity and age of onset; mutations in the gene encoding the dystrophin-associated sarcoglycan proteins (α, β, γ and δ) have recently been shown to cause some cases of these myopathies (primary sarcoglycanopathies, types 2D, 2E, 2C and 2F, respectively). In this study we have examined a large population of Italian myopathic patients to determine the frequency of α, β- and γ-sarcoglycan deficiency and to correlate molecular defects with clinical phenotypes; to exclude the presence of primary dystrophinopathies both genetic and immunological analysis of dystrophin was performed. We report 12 patients (10 male and 2 female) with deficiency of either one or more sarcoglycan proteins. They were aged 8-56 years with onset between 4 and 30 years of age; they all presented with either mild, moderate or severe limb-girdle involvement associated with elevated blood creatine kinase levels and myopathic pattern at EMG; one was also affected with a mild dilation cardiomyopathy. All patients, except one, showed pathological muscle histological changes. Absence of all three proteins always correlates with severe forms, whereas mild protein deficiencies or isolated partial α-sarcoglycan deficiency correlate with either severe, moderate or mild forms.
- Limb-girdle dystrophy
- Sarcoglycan complex
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine