Galactokinase deficiency: lessons from the GalNet registry.

Rubio-Gozalbo, M Estela; Derks, Britt; Das, Anibh Martin; Meyer, Uta; Möslinger, Dorothea; Couce, M Luz; Empain, Aurélie; Ficicioglu, Can; Juliá Palacios, Natalia; De Los Santos De Pelegrin, Mariela M; Rivera, Isabel A; Scholl-Bürgi, Sabine; Bosch, Annet M; Cassiman, David; Demirbas, Didem; Gautschi, Matthias; Knerr, Ina; Labrune, Philippe; Skouma, Anastasia; Verloo, Patrick; ... (2021). Galactokinase deficiency: lessons from the GalNet registry. Genetics in medicine, 23(1), pp. 202-210. Springer Nature 10.1038/s41436-020-00942-9

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Galactokinase (GALK1) deficiency is a rare hereditary galactose metabolism disorder. Beyond cataract, the phenotypic spectrum is questionable. Data from affected patients included in the Galactosemias Network registry were collected to better characterize the phenotype.


Observational study collecting medical data of 53 not previously reported GALK1 deficient patients from 17 centers in 11 countries from December 2014 to April 2020.


Neonatal or childhood cataract was reported in 15 and 4 patients respectively. The occurrence of neonatal hypoglycemia and infection were comparable with the general population, whereas bleeding diathesis (8.1% versus 2.17-5.9%) and encephalopathy (3.9% versus 0.3%) were reported more often. Elevated transaminases were seen in 25.5%. Cognitive delay was reported in 5 patients. Urinary galactitol was elevated in all patients at diagnosis; five showed unexpected Gal-1-P increase. Most patients showed enzyme activities ≤1%. Eleven different genotypes were described, including six unpublished variants. The majority was homozygous for NM_000154.1:c.82C>A (p.Pro28Thr). Thirty-five patients were diagnosed following newborn screening, which was clearly beneficial.


The phenotype of GALK1 deficiency may include neonatal elevation of transaminases, bleeding diathesis, and encephalopathy in addition to cataract. Potential complications beyond the neonatal period are not systematically surveyed and a better delineation is needed.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Institute of Clinical Chemistry
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine > Endocrinology/Metabolic Disorders

UniBE Contributor:

Gautschi, Matthias


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Springer Nature




Anette van Dorland

Date Deposited:

09 Nov 2020 14:19

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:41

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

GALK1 gene variants; neonatal complications cataract; galactosemias registry galactokinase 1 deficiency




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