Lysosomal dysfunction in muscle with special reference to glycogen storage disease type II

R.P Hesselink, A.J.M. Wagenmakers, M.R. Drost, G.J. Vusse, van der

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48 Citations (Scopus)


The importance of proper lysosomal activity in cell and tissue homeostasis is underlined by "experiments of nature", i.e. genetic defects in one of the at least 40 lysosomal enzymes/proteins present in the human cell. The complete lack of 1-4 a-glucosidase (glycogen storage disease type II (GSD II) or Pompe disease) is life-threatening. Patients suffering from GSD II commonly die before the age of 2 years because of cardiorespiratory insufficiency. Striated muscle cells appear to be particularly vulnerable in GSD II. The high cytoplasmic glycogen content in muscle cells most likely gives rise to a high rate of glycogen engulfment by the lysosomes. The polysaccharides become subsequently trapped in these organelles when 1-4 a-glucosidase activity is absent. During the course of the disease, muscle wasting occurs. It is hypothesised that the gradual loss of muscle mass is caused by a combination of disuse atrophy and lipofuscine-mediated apoptosis of myocytes. Moreover, we hypothesise that in the remaining skeletal muscle cells, longitudinal transmission of force is hampered by swollen lysosomes, clustering of non-contractile material and focal regions with degraded contractile proteins, which results in muscle weakness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-170
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta, Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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