Autosomal dominant progressive external ophthalmoplegia with multiple deletions of mtDNA: clinical, biochemical, and molecular genetic features of the 10q-linked disease.
ABSTRACT Autosomal dominant progressive external ophthalmoplegia (adPEO) is a mitochondrial disease characterized by accumulation of multiple large deletions of mtDNA in patients' tissues. We previously showed that the disease is genetically heterogeneous by assigning two nuclear loci predisposing to mtDNA deletions: one on chromosome 10q 23.3-24.3 in a Finnish family and one on 3p 14.1-21.2 in three Italian families. To reveal any locus-specific disease features, we report here the clinical, biochemical, and molecular genetic characteristics of the 10q-linked disease in the single family reported to date. All seven patients and four asymptomatic subjects had ragged-red fibers and multiple deletions of mtDNA in their muscle. Ptosis and external ophthalmoplegia were the major clinical findings, and depression or avoidant personality traits were frequently, but not consistently, present in the subjects carrying mutant mtDNA. In six of the subjects with mutant mtDNA, the activities of the respiratory chain complexes I or IV, or both, were below or within the low normal range. Two autopsy studies revealed the characteristic distribution of mutant mtDNA in these patients: highest proportion of mutant mtDNA is found in different parts of the brain, followed by the skeletal and ocular muscle, and the heart.
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ABSTRACT: The inheritance of functional mitochondria depends on faithful replication and transmission of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). A large and heterogeneous group of human disorders is associated with mitochondrial genome quantitative and qualitative anomalies. Several nuclear genes have been shown to account for these severe OXPHOS disorders. However, in several cases, the disease-causing mutations still remain unknown. Caenorhabditis elegans has been largely used for studying various biological functions because this multicellular organism has short life cycle and is easy to grow in the laboratory. Mitochondrial functions are relatively well conserved between human and C.elegans, and heteroplasmy exists in this organism as in human. C. elegans therefore represents a useful tool for studying mtDNA maintenance. Suppression by RNA interference of genes involved in mtDNA replication such as polg-1, encoding the mitochondrial DNA polymerase, results in reduced mtDNA copy number but in a normal phenotype of the F1 worms. By combining RNAi of genes involved in mtDNA maintenance and EtBr exposure, we were able to reveal a strong and specific phenotype (developmental larval arrest) associated to a severe decrease of mtDNA copy number. Moreover, we tested and validated the screen efficiency for human orthologous genes encoding mitochondrial nucleoid proteins. This allowed us to identify several genes that seem to be closely related to mtDNA maintenance in C. elegans. This work reports a first step in the further development of a large-scale screening in C. elegans that should allow to identify new genes of mtDNA maintenance whose human orthologs will obviously constitute new candidate genes for patients with quantitative or qualitative mtDNA anomalies.Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 09/2010; 1802(9):765-73. DOI:10.1016/j.bbadis.2010.05.007 · 4.66 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Nuclear genes affecting mitochondrial genome stability were screened in an Italian family presenting with autosomal dominant progressive external ophthalmoplegia (adPEO) associated with multiple mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) deletions. We report on a heterozygous c.907C>T (p.R303W) mutation found in the N-terminal domain of the human mitochondrial DNA helicase, Twinkle protein, in six members of a family, in which two individuals manifested late-onset PEO and morphological and molecular signs of mitochondrial dysfunction along with two carriers who are presently free of disease manifestation. We also investigated if the p.R303W mutation in PEO1 gene affected the relative copy number of mitochondrial DNA genomes.Neuromuscular Disorders 06/2009; 19(6):423-6. DOI:10.1016/j.nmd.2009.04.008 · 3.13 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial dysfunction has been identified as a potential cause of epileptic seizures and therapy-resistant forms of severe epilepsy. Thus, a broad variety of mutation in mitochondrial DNA or nuclear genes leading to the impairment of mitochondrial respiratory chain or of mitochondrial ATP synthesis has been associated with epileptic phenotypes. Additionally, with a variety of different methods impaired mitochondrial function has been reported for the seizure focus of patients with temporal lobe epilepsy and Ammon's horn sclerosis and of animal models of temporal lobe epilepsy. Since mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation provides the major source of ATP in neurons and mitochondria participate in cellular Ca(2+) homeostasis, their dysfunction strongly affects neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission, which is proposed to be highly relevant for seizure generation. Additionally, mitochondrial dysfunction is known to trigger neuronal cell death, which is a prominent feature of therapy-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy. Therefore, mitochondria have to be considered as promising targets for neuroprotective strategies in epilepsy.Experimental Neurology 04/2009; 218(2):326-32. DOI:10.1016/j.expneurol.2009.02.014 · 4.62 Impact Factor