Abstract

Summary

A series of patients affected by a muscular dystrophy, similar to the original description of a juvenile scapulo-humeral form by Erb in 1884 and fitting with the criteria used to define limb-girdle muscular dystrophies, was discovered in a small community living in the southern part of Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. A detailed clinical analysis was conducted over 5 years on a cohort of 20 patients. This community presented a high degree of consanguinity as it was segregated from the majority of the island population for more than a century. In previous molecular genetic studies, the disease locus has been mapped to chromosome 15p. Mutations were recently identified in a gene located in this region encoding for muscle-specific calcium activated neutral protease (CANP3). Clinical, pathological, genetic and complete identification of the mutations are presented here, establishing, for the first time, precise clinico-genetic correlations in this form of autosomal recessive, juvenile, limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD).