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Zhiying Xie and Yue Hou contributed equally to this study.
Sarcoglycanopathies comprise four subtypes of autosomal recessive limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD2C, LGMD2D, LGMD2E, and LGMD2F) that are caused, respectively, by mutations in the SGCG, SGCA, SGCB, and SGCD genes. Knowledge about the clinical and genetic features of sarcoglycanopathies in Chinese patients is limited. The aims of this study were to investigate in detail the clinical manifestations, sarcoglycan expression, and gene mutations in Chinese patients with sarcoglycanopathies and to identify possible correlations between them.
Of 3638 patients for suspected neuromuscular diseases (1733 with inherited myopathies, 1557 with acquired myopathies, and 348 unknown), 756 patients had next-generation sequencing (NGS) diagnostic panel. Twenty-five patients with sarcoglycanopathies (11.5%) were identified from 218 confirmed LGMDs, comprising 18 with LGMD2D, 6 with LGMD2E, and one with LGMD2C. One patient with LGMD2D also had Charcot-Marie-Tooth 1A. The clinical phenotypes of the patients with LGMD2D or LGMD2E were markedly heterogeneous. Muscle biopsy showed a dystrophic pattern in 19 patients and mild myopathic changes in 6. The percentage of correct prediction of genotype based on expression of sarcoglycan was 36.0% (4 LGMD2D, 4 LGMD2E, and one LGMD2C). There was a statistically significant positive correlation between reduction of α-sarcoglycan level and disease severity in LGMD2D. Thirty-five mutations were identified in SGCA, SGCB, SGCG, and PMP22, 16 of which were novel. Exon 3 of SGCA was a hotspot region for mutations in LGMD2D. The missense mutation c.662G > A (p.R221H) was the most common mutation in SGCA. Missense mutations in both alleles of SGCA were associated with a relative benign disease course. No obvious clinical, sarcoglycan expression, and genetic correlation was found in LGMD2E.
This study expands the clinical and genetic spectrum of sarcoglycanopathies in Chinese patients and provides evidence that disease severity of LGMD2D may be predicted by α-sarcoglycan expression and SGCA mutation.