We report a new fibroblast and lymphoblast based protein O-mannosyl β-1,2-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase 1 enzymatic assay, which allows rapid and accurate diagnosis of carriers and patients with muscle-eye-brain type of congenital muscular dystrophy. Seven patients with genetically confirmed muscle-eye-brain disease were assayed for protein O-mannosyl β-1,2-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase 1 enzyme activity. In three patients and their heterozygous parents, the assays were done on EBV-transformed lymphoblasts, in another three patients they were done on cultured fibroblasts and in the last patient on both fibroblasts and lymphoblasts. Cultured fibroblasts and lymphoblasts from the muscle-eye-brain patients showed a highly significant decrease in protein O-mannosyl β-1,2-N- acetylglucosaminyltransferase 1 activity relative to controls. The residual protein O-mannosyl β-1,2-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase 1 level in fibroblasts (average 0.11 nmoles/h per mg) was about 13% of normal controls. The ratio of protein O-mannosyl β-1,2-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase 1 activity to the activity of a glycosyltransferase control (N- acetylglucosaminyltransferase 1; GnT1) in fibroblasts was on average 0.006 in muscle-eye-brain patients and 0.045 in controls. The average residual protein O-mannosyl β-1,2-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase 1 level in lymphoblasts was 15% of normal controls. The average ratio of protein O-mannosyl β-1,2-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase 1/GnT1 activity was 0.007 in muscle-eye-brain patients, 0.026 in heterozygous carriers and 0.046 in normal controls. Assay of protein O-mannosyl β-1,2-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase 1 activity in fibroblasts and lymphoblasts from muscle-eye-brain carriers and patients provides a rapid and relatively simple diagnostic test for this disease and could be used as a screening test in carriers and patients with complex congenital muscular dystrophy.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the Physicians' Services Incorporated Foundation and in part by a grant from the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (SCDDSN).
- Congenital muscular dystrophy
- Muscle-eye-brain disease