Molecular genetics of Pompe disease: a comprehensive overview

Paolo Peruzzo, Eleonora Pavan, Andrea Dardis


Pompe disease (PD) is an autosomal recessive lysosomal disorder caused by the deficient activity of acid alpha-glucosidase (GAA) enzyme due to mutations in the GAA gene. The enzymatic deficiency leads to the accumulation of glycogen within the lysosomes. Clinically, the disease has been classically classified in infantile and childhood/adult forms. The GAA gene has been localized to chromosome 17q25.2-q25.3 and to date, 582 mutations distributed throughout the whole gene have been reported (HGMD: All types of mutations have been described; missense variants are the most frequent type followed by small deletions. Most GAA mutations are private or found in a small number of families. However, an exception is represented by the c.-32-13T>G splice mutation that is very common in patients of Caucasian origin affected by the childhood/adult form of the disease, with an allelic frequency ranging from 40% to 70%. In this article, we review the spectrum of GAA mutations, their distribution in different populations, and their classification according to their impact on GAA splicing process, protein expression and activity. In addition, whenever possible, we discuss the phenotype/genotype correlation. The information collected in this review provides an overview of the molecular genetics of PD and can be used to facilitate diagnosis and genetic counseling of families affected by this disorder.