Level of residual enzyme activity modulates the phenotype in phosphoglycerate kinase deficiency


To study the variable clinical picture and exercise tolerance of patients with phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK) 1 deficiency and how it relates to residual PGK enzyme activity.


In this case series study, we evaluated 7 boys and men from 5 families with PGK1 deficiency. Five had pure muscle symptoms, while 2 also had mild intellectual disability with or without anemia. Muscle glycolytic and oxidative capacities were evaluated by an ischemic forearm exercise test and by cycle ergometry.


Enzyme levels of PGK were 4% to 9% of normal in red cells and 5% to10% in muscle in pure myopathy patients and 2.6% in both muscle and red cells in the 2 patients with multisystem involvement. Patients with pure myopathy had greater increases in lactate with ischemic exercise (2–3 mmol/L) vs the 2 multisystem-affected patients (<1 mmol/L). Myopathy patients had higher oxidative capacity in cycle exercise vs multisystem affected patients (30 vs 15 mL/kg per minute). One multisystem-affected patient developed frank myoglobinuria after the short exercise test.


This case series study of PGK1 deficiency suggests that the level of impaired glycolysis in PGK deficiency is a major determinant of phenotype. Lower glycolytic capacity in PGK1 deficiency seems to result in multisystem involvement and increased susceptibility to exertional rhabdomyolysis.

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