Rare Pediatrics News

Disease Profile

Muscular phosphorylase kinase deficiency

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.

<1 / 1 000 000

US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable



Congenital and Genetic Diseases; Metabolic disorders; Nervous System Diseases


The following summary is from Orphanet, a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.

Orpha Number: 715

Glycogen storage disease due to muscle phosphorylase kinase (PhK) deficiency is a benign inborn error of glycogen metabolism characterized by exercise intolerance.

The disease is very rare with less than 30 patients reported in the literature.

Clinical description
The disease starts generally in adolescence or adulthood. Patients may present with exercise intolerance with myalgia, cramps, fatigue, and sometimes myoglobinuria. In some cases, patients may present with progressive muscle weakness. Symptoms are usually mild, and myopathy may be asymptomatic. A neonatal form with generalized muscular hypotonia and respiratory insufficiency has also been described.

Phosphorylase kinase (PhK) is an enzyme which plays a key role in the regulation of glycogenolysis as it is required for glycogen phosphorylase activation. It consists of four copies of each four subunits (alpha, beta, gamma and calmoduline) encoded by different genes on different chromosomes and differentially expressed in various tissues. Muscle-specific isoforms of the alpha and gamma subunits are encoded by the PHKA1 gene and the PHKG1 gene respectively, but until now mutations have been only identified in the PHKA1 gene and the transmission is X-linked.

Diagnostic methods
Biochemical diagnosis of the muscle form can be made by measuring phosphorylase kinase activity in a muscle biopsy. Genetic testing is useful to confirm or establish the diagnosis.

Differential diagnosis
Differential diagnoses include GSD due to myophosphorylase deficiency (GSD type V), and other GSDs affecting the muscle (GSD types XI, XII, XIII and XIV) (see these terms).

Management and treatment
Most patients do not require any specific treatment.

Prognosis is generally good.

Visit the Orphanet disease page for more resources.

Learn more

These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

In-Depth Information

  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.