McArdle disease, one of the most common metabolic causes of exercise intolerance and recurrent myoglobinuria, is due to biochemical defects of the muscle isoform of glycogen phosphorylase. The gene for myophosphorylase (PGYM) is on chromosome 11, and 33 distinct mutations have been identified in patients from all over the world. In Caucasians, a nonsense mutation in exon 1 (R49X) is common enough to warrant screening of genomic DNA from blood before considering muscle biopsy. Other mutations are prevalent in different ethnic groups or are ”private“. Mutations are spread throughout the gene and there is no clear genotype:phenotype correlation. Highprotein diet and aerobic exercise are beneficial, and gene therapy appears promising.
Current Molecular Medicine is an interdisciplinary journal focused on providing the readership with current and comprehensive reviews on fundamental molecular mechanisms of disease pathogenesis, the development of molecular-diagnosis and/or novel approaches to rational treatment. The reviews should be of significant interest to basic researchers and clinical investigators in molecular medicine. Periodically the journal will invite guest editors to devote an issue on a basic research area that shows promise to advance our understanding of the molecular mechanism(s) of a disease or has potential for clinical applications.