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POMT2 gene

protein O-mannosyltransferase 2

Normal Function

The POMT2 gene provides instructions for making one piece of the protein O-mannosyltransferase (POMT) enzyme complex. The other piece is produced from the POMT1 gene. This enzyme complex is present in many different tissues in the body but is particularly abundant in the muscles used for movement (skeletal muscles), fetal brain, and testes.

The POMT complex helps modify a protein called alpha (α)-dystroglycan. Specifically, this complex adds a sugar molecule called mannose to α-dystroglycan through a process called glycosylation. 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.

Health Conditions Related to Genetic Changes

Walker-Warburg syndrome

At least eight mutations in the POMT2 gene have been found to cause Walker-Warburg syndrome. This condition is the most severe form of a group of disorders known as congenital muscular dystrophies. Walker-Warburg syndrome causes muscle weakness and abnormalities of the brain and eyes. Because of the severity of the problems caused by this condition, affected individuals usually do not survive past early childhood.

POMT2 gene mutations that cause Walker-Warburg syndrome lead to the formation of nonfunctional POMT enzyme complexes that cannot transfer mannose to α-dystroglycan, preventing its normal glycosylation. As a result, α-dystroglycan can no longer effectively anchor cells to the proteins and other molecules that surround them. Without functional α-dystroglycan to stabilize the muscle fibers, they become damaged as they repeatedly contract and relax with use. The damaged fibers weaken and die over time, which affects the development, structure, and function of skeletal muscles in people with Walker-Warburg syndrome.

Defective α-dystroglycan also affects the migration of neurons during the early development of the brain. Instead of stopping when they reach their intended destinations, some neurons migrate past the surface of the brain into the fluid-filled space that surrounds it. Researchers believe that this problem with neuronal migration causes a brain abnormality called cobblestone lissencephaly, in which the surface of the brain lacks the normal folds and grooves and instead appears bumpy and irregular. Less is known about the effects of POMT2 gene mutations in other parts of the body.

More About This Health Condition

Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy

MedlinePlus Genetics provides information about Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy

More About This Health Condition

Other disorders

Mutations in the POMT2 gene are also involved in less severe forms of muscular dystrophy, including muscle-eye-brain disease and POMT2-related congenital muscular dystrophy (also known as MDDGB2). Muscle-eye-brain disease is similar to Walker-Warburg syndrome (described above), although affected individuals usually survive into childhood or adolescence. POMT2-related congenital muscular dystrophy causes muscle weakness, brain abnormalities, and intellectual disability, but usually does not affect the eyes.

POMT2 gene mutations that cause these conditions result in POMT enzyme complexes with reduced function. As a result, glycosylation of α-dystroglycan is impaired. The severity of the resulting condition appears to be related to the level of α-dystroglycan glycosylation; the less glycosylation, the more severe the condition.

Other Names for This Gene

  • dolichyl-phosphate-mannose--protein mannosyltransferase 2
  • LGMD2N
  • MDDGA2
  • MDDGB2
  • MDDGC2
  • protein O-mannosyl-transferase 2
  • protein-O-mannosyltransferase 2

Additional Information & Resources

Tests Listed in the Genetic Testing Registry

Scientific Articles on PubMed

Gene and Variant Databases


  • Akasaka-Manya K, Manya H, Nakajima A, Kawakita M, Endo T. Physical and functional association of human protein O-mannosyltransferases 1 and 2. J Biol Chem. 2006 Jul 14;281(28):19339-45. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M601091200. Epub 2006 May 12. Citation on PubMed
  • Manya H, Chiba A, Yoshida A, Wang X, Chiba Y, Jigami Y, Margolis RU, Endo T. Demonstration of mammalian protein O-mannosyltransferase activity: coexpression of POMT1 and POMT2 required for enzymatic activity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Jan 13;101(2):500-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0307228101. Epub 2003 Dec 29. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • Saredi S, Gibertini S, Ardissone A, Fusco I, Zanotti S, Blasevich F, Morandi L, Moroni I, Mora M. A fourth case of POMT2-related limb girdle muscle dystrophy with mild reduction of alpha-dystroglycan glycosylation. Eur J Paediatr Neurol. 2014 May;18(3):404-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpn.2013.10.005. Epub 2013 Oct 27. Citation on PubMed
  • van Reeuwijk J, Janssen M, van den Elzen C, Beltran-Valero de Bernabe D, Sabatelli P, Merlini L, Boon M, Scheffer H, Brockington M, Muntoni F, Huynen MA, Verrips A, Walsh CA, Barth PG, Brunner HG, van Bokhoven H. POMT2 mutations cause alpha-dystroglycan hypoglycosylation and Walker-Warburg syndrome. J Med Genet. 2005 Dec;42(12):907-12. doi: 10.1136/jmg.2005.031963. Epub 2005 May 13. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • Yanagisawa A, Bouchet C, Quijano-Roy S, Vuillaumier-Barrot S, Clarke N, Odent S, Rodriguez D, Romero NB, Osawa M, Endo T, Taratuto AL, Seta N, Guicheney P. POMT2 intragenic deletions and splicing abnormalities causing congenital muscular dystrophy with mental retardation. Eur J Med Genet. 2009 Jul-Aug;52(4):201-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmg.2008.12.004. Epub 2008 Dec 27. Citation on PubMed

The information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.