The biochemical etiology is unknown”. They also noted that: “The mean age of death in women was 35 years, whereas the mean age of death in men
was 16 years. This pattern suggests X-linked dominant transmission, but autosomal dominant inheritance cannot be ruled out” (2). A feature that distinguished the vacuoles in Danon disease from typical lysosomes was that vacuolar membranes occasionally merged with indentations of the sarcolemma and stained with antibodies to sarcolemmal proteins, such as dystrophin and laminin (3, 4). Based on the shared lysosomal and plasma membrane features Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical of the vacuoles and on the X-linked inheritance of the disease, in 2000, Nishino Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical and coworkers sequenced a candidate gene on chromosome Xq24, LAMP-2, in ten unrelated patients with Danon disease, including one of the two boys described in the original paper. They found pathogenic mutations in all 10 patients and documented lack of LAMP-2 (lysosome-associated membrane protein 2) both by Western blot analysis and by immunohistochemistry
(5). Their findings were bolstered by data from LAMP-2 knockout mice, which also showed accumulation of autophagic Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical vacuoles in all tissues, but predominantly in cardiac and skeletal muscle (6). LAMP-2 is a 410 amino acid protein consisting of a small cytoplasmic tail with a lysosomal membrane targeting signal, a transmembrane domain, and a large intraluminal head. The LAMP-2 open reading frame consists of 9 exons: the first 8 exons and part of the ninth
encode the luminal Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical domain, and what is left of exon 9 encodes both the transmembrane and the cytoplasmic domains. Human exon 9 exists in two forms, 9a and 9b, which are alternatively spliced, producing two isoforms, LAMP-2a and LAMP-2b. Nishino et al. provided evidence that Danon disease is mostly due to defects of the LAMP-2b isoform, which is predominantly expressed in heart, muscle, and brain, the three “target tissues” in Danon disease Org 27569 (5). The discovery of LAMP-2 deficiency in Danon disease ushered a new group of lysosomal diseases, those due to defects in lysosomal structural this website proteins rather than lysosomal enzymes. It also justified why Danon disease should not be included among the glycogenoses, glycogen being but one of many substrates that accumulate within abnormal autophagosomes. In 2002, Sugie et al. reviewed 38 genetically confirmed cases (20 men and 18 women) and provided a comprehensive description of the typical clinical and pathological features of Danon disease (7).