Knock-in mice for the R50X mutation in the PYGM gene present with McArdle disease

Gisela Nogales-Gadea, Tomàs Pinós, Alejandro Lucia, Joaquín Arenas, Yolanda Camara, Astrid Brull, Noemí De Luna, Miguel A. Martín, Elena Garcia-Arumí, Ramon Martí, Antoni L. Andreu

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    41 Citations (Scopus)


    McArdle disease (glycogenosis type V), the most common muscle glycogenosis, is a recessive disorder caused by mutations in PYGM, the gene encoding myophosphorylase. Patients with McArdle disease typically experience exercise intolerance manifested as acute crises of early fatigue and contractures, sometimes with rhabdomyolysis and myoblobinuria, triggered by static muscle contractions or dynamic exercises. Currently, there are no therapies to restore myophosphorylase activity in patients. Although two spontaneous animal models for McArdle disease have been identified (cattle and sheep), they have rendered a limited amount of information on the pathophysiology of the disorder; therefore, there have been few opportunities for experimental research in the field. We have developed a knock-in mouse model by replacing the wild-type allele of Pygm with a modified allele carrying the common human mutation, p.R50X, which is the most frequent cause of McArdle disease. Histochemical, biochemical and molecular analyses of the phenotype, as well as exercise tests, were carried out in homozygotes, carriers and wild-type mice. p.R50X/p.R50X mice showed undetectable myophosphorylase protein and activity in skeletal muscle. Histochemical and biochemical analyses revealed massive muscle glycogen accumulation in homozygotes, in contrast to heterozygotes or wild-type mice, which did not show glycogen accumulation in this tissue. Additional characterization confirmed a McArdle disease-like phenotype in p.R50X/p.R50X mice, i.e. they had hyperCKaemia and very poor exercise performance, as assessed in the wire grip and treadmill tests (6% and 5% of the wild-type values, respectively). This model represents a powerful tool for in-depth studies of the pathophysiology of McArdle disease and other neuromuscular disorders, and for exploring new therapeutic approaches for genetic disorders caused by premature stop codon mutations. © The Author (2012). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2048-2057
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


    • Glycogenosis type V
    • Knock-in mouse
    • McArdle disease
    • Neuromuscular disorders
    • p.R50X mutation


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