Glycogen storage disease (GSD) type 1a is an autosomal recessive inborn error of metabolism caused by a deficiency in microsomal glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase), the key enzyme in glucose homeostasis. Southern blot hybridization analysis using a panel of human-hamster hybrids showed that human G6Pase is a single-copy gene located on chromosome 17. To correlate specific defects with clinical manifestations of this disorder, we identified mutations in the G6Pase gene of GSD type 1a patients. In the G6Pase gene of a compound heterozygous patient (LLP), two mutations in exon 2 of one allele and exon 5 of the other allele were identified. The exon 2 mutation converts an arginine at codon 83 to a cysteine (R83C). This mutation, previously identified by us in another GSD type 1a patient, was shown to have no detectable phosphohydrolase activity. The exon 5 mutation in the G6Pase gene of LLP converts a glutamine codon at 347 to a stop (Q347SP). This Q347SP mutation was also detected in all exon 5 subclones (five for each patient) of two homozygous patients, KB and CB, siblings of the same parents. The predicted Q347SP mutant G6Pase is a truncated protein of 346 amino acids, 11 amino acids shorter than the wild type G6Pase of 357 residues. Site-directed mutagenesis and transient expression assays demonstrated that G6Pase-Q347SP was devoid of G6Pase activity. G6Pase is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane-associated protein containing an ER retention signal, two lysines (KK), located at residues 354 and 355. We showed that the G6Pase-K355SP mutant containing a lysine-355 to stop codon mutation is enzymatically active. Our data demonstrate that the ER protein retention signal in human G6Pase is not essential for activity. However, residues 347-354 may be required for optimal G6Pase catalysis.
K J Lei, C J Pan, L L Shelly, J L Liu, J Y Chou