Molecular Biology
and Lysosomal Disease
Diagnosis Laboratory
Center for Research and Diagnosis of Genetic Diseases
Diagnostico: FKRP

The FKRP gene provides instructions for making a protein called fukutin-related protein (FKRP). This protein is present in many of the body's tissues but is particularly abundant in the brain, heart (cardiac) muscle, and muscles used for movement (skeletal muscles). Within cells, FKRP is found in a specialized structure called the Golgi apparatus, where newly produced proteins are modified.

FKRP is involved in a process called glycosylation. Through this chemical process, sugar molecules are added to certain proteins. In particular, FKRP adds a molecule called ribitol 5-phosphate to the chain of sugars attached to a protein called alpha (α)-dystroglycan. Glycosylation is critical for the normal function of α-dystroglycan.

The α-dystroglycan protein helps anchor the structural framework inside each cell (cytoskeleton) to the lattice of proteins and other molecules outside the cell (extracellular matrix). In skeletal muscles, glycosylated α-dystroglycan helps stabilize and protect muscle fibers. In the brain, it helps direct the movement (migration) of nerve cells (neurons) during early development.

 

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