Valeria R Fantin

Agios Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (27)427.55 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Atypical chronic myeloid leukemia (aCML) shares clinical and laboratory features with CML, but it lacks the BCR-ABL1 fusion. We performed exome sequencing of eight aCMLs and identified somatic alterations of SETBP1 (encoding a p.Gly870Ser alteration) in two cases. Targeted resequencing of 70 aCMLs, 574 diverse hematological malignancies and 344 cancer cell lines identified SETBP1 mutations in 24 cases, including 17 of 70 aCMLs (24.3%; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 16-35%). Most mutations (92%) were located between codons 858 and 871 and were identical to changes seen in individuals with Schinzel-Giedion syndrome. Individuals with mutations had higher white blood cell counts (P = 0.008) and worse prognosis (P = 0.01). The p.Gly870Ser alteration abrogated a site for ubiquitination, and cells exogenously expressing this mutant exhibited higher amounts of SETBP1 and SET protein, lower PP2A activity and higher proliferation rates relative to those expressing the wild-type protein. In summary, mutated SETBP1 represents a newly discovered oncogene present in aCML and closely related diseases.
    Nature Genetics 12/2012; · 35.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Optimization of a series of R132H IDH1 inhibitors from a high throughput screen led to the first potent molecules that show robust tumor 2-HG inhibition in a xenograft model. Compound 35 shows good potency in the U87 R132H cell based assay and ∼90% tumor 2-HG inhibition in the corresponding mouse xenograft model following BID dosing. The magnitude and duration of tumor 2-HG inhibition correlates with free plasma concentration.
    ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters 10/2012; 3(10):850-5. · 3.31 Impact Factor
  • Leukemia & lymphoma 06/2012; · 2.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations of the isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 and 2 genes (IDH1 and IDH2) are commonly found in primary brain cancers. We previously reported that a novel enzymatic activity of these mutations results in the production of the putative oncometabolite, R(-)-2-hydroxyglutarate (2-HG). Here we investigated the ability of magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to detect 2-HG production in order to non-invasively identify patients with IDH1 mutant brain tumors. Patients with intrinsic glial brain tumors (n = 27) underwent structural and spectroscopic magnetic resonance imaging prior to surgery. 2-HG levels from MRS data were quantified using LC-Model software, based upon a simulated spectrum obtained from a GAMMA library added to the existing prior knowledge database. The resected tumors were then analyzed for IDH1 mutational status by genomic DNA sequencing, Ki-67 proliferation index by immunohistochemistry, and concentrations of 2-HG and other metabolites by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). MRS detected elevated 2-HG levels in gliomas with IDH1 mutations compared to those with wild-type IDH1 (P = 0.003). The 2-HG levels measured in vivo with MRS were significantly correlated with those measured ex vivo from the corresponding tumor samples using LC-MS (r (2) = 0.56; P = 0.0001). Compared with wild-type tumors, those with IDH1 mutations had elevated choline (P = 0.01) and decreased glutathione (P = 0.03) on MRS. Among the IDH1 mutated gliomas, quantitative 2-HG values were correlated with the Ki-67 proliferation index of the tumors (r ( 2 ) = 0.59; P = 0.026). In conclusion, water-suppressed proton ((1)H) MRS provides a non-invasive measure of 2-HG in gliomas, and may serve as a potential biomarker for patients with IDH1 mutant brain tumors. In addition to 2-HG, alterations in several other metabolites measured by MRS correlate with IDH1 mutation status.
    Journal of Neuro-Oncology 03/2012; 107(1):197-205. · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in the gene isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) are present in up to 86% of grade II and III gliomas and secondary glioblastoma. Arginine 132 (R132) mutations in the enzyme IDH1 result in excess production of the metabolite 2-hydroxyglutarate (2HG), which could be used as a biomarker for this subset of gliomas. Here, we use optimized in vivo spectral-editing and two-dimensional (2D) correlation magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) methods to unambiguously detect 2HG noninvasively in glioma patients with IDH1 mutations. By comparison, fitting of conventional 1D MR spectra can provide false-positive readouts owing to spectral overlap of 2HG and chemically similar brain metabolites, such as glutamate and glutamine. 2HG was also detected using 2D high-resolution magic angle spinning MRS performed ex vivo on a separate set of glioma biopsy samples. 2HG detection by in vivo or ex vivo MRS enabled detailed molecular characterization of a clinically important subset of human gliomas. This has implications for diagnosis as well as monitoring of treatments targeting mutated IDH1.
    Science translational medicine 01/2012; 4(116):116ra4. · 10.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cancers of origin in the gallbladder and bile ducts are rarely curable with current modalities of cancer treatment. Our clinical application of broad-based mutational profiling for patients diagnosed with a gastrointestinal malignancy has led to the novel discovery of mutations in the gene encoding isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) in tumors from a subset of patients with cholangiocarcinoma. A total of 287 tumors from gastrointestinal cancer patients (biliary tract, colorectal, gastroesophageal, liver, pancreatic, and small intestine carcinoma) were tested during routine clinical evaluation for 130 site-specific mutations within 15 cancer genes. Mutations were identified within a number of genes, including KRAS (35%), TP53 (22%), PIK3CA (10%), BRAF (7%), APC (6%), NRAS (3%), AKT1 (1%), CTNNB1 (1%), and PTEN (1%). Although mutations in the metabolic enzyme IDH1 were rare in the other common gastrointestinal malignancies in this series (2%), they were found in three tumors (25%) of an initial series of 12 biliary tract carcinomas. To better define IDH1 and IDH2 mutational status, an additional 75 gallbladder and bile duct cancers were examined. Combining these cohorts of biliary cancers, mutations in IDH1 and IDH2 were found only in cholangiocarcinomas of intrahepatic origin (nine of 40, 23%) and in none of the 22 extrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas and none of the 25 gallbladder carcinomas. In an analysis of frozen tissue specimens, IDH1 mutation was associated with highly elevated tissue levels of the enzymatic product 2-hydroxyglutarate. Thus, IDH1 mutation is a molecular feature of cholangiocarcinomas of intrahepatic origin. These findings define a specific metabolic abnormality in this largely incurable type of gastrointestinal cancer and present a potentially new target for therapy.
    The Oncologist 12/2011; 17(1):72-9. · 4.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ollier disease and Maffucci syndrome are characterized by multiple central cartilaginous tumors that are accompanied by soft tissue hemangiomas in Maffucci syndrome. We show that in 37 of 40 individuals with these syndromes, at least one tumor has a mutation in isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) or in IDH2, 65% of which result in a R132C substitution in the protein. In 18 of 19 individuals with more than one tumor analyzed, all tumors from a given individual shared the same IDH1 mutation affecting Arg132. In 2 of 12 subjects, a low level of mutated DNA was identified in non-neoplastic tissue. The levels of the metabolite 2HG were measured in a series of central cartilaginous and vascular tumors, including samples from syndromic and nonsyndromic subjects, and these levels correlated strongly with the presence of IDH1 mutations. The findings are compatible with a model in which IDH1 or IDH2 mutations represent early post-zygotic occurrences in individuals with these syndromes.
    Nature Genetics 11/2011; 43(12):1262-5. · 35.21 Impact Factor
  • Marcelo J Berardi, Valeria R Fantin
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    ABSTRACT: Malignant transformation is often a multistep process characterized by an initial period of avascular growth. Rapid cell proliferation creates areas within the emerging preneoplastic lesion with limited diffusion of oxygen and nutrients. In this context, activation of oncogenes, loss of tumor suppressors as well as additional adaptive mechanisms drive a profound metabolic rewiring to overcome the environmental constraints. The emerging cells are in principle better suited to proliferate and survive in the hostile tumor microenvironment. Furthermore, some of the acquired metabolic traits impact their metastatic behavior and response to therapy. It is becoming increasingly clear that malignant cells are highly dependent on certain nutrients, an Achilles' heel of cancer and an opportunity for therapeutic intervention.
    Current opinion in genetics & development 02/2011; 21(1):59-66. · 8.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cancer-associated IDH mutations are characterized by neomorphic enzyme activity and resultant 2-hydroxyglutarate (2HG) production. Mutational and epigenetic profiling of a large acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patient cohort revealed that IDH1/2-mutant AMLs display global DNA hypermethylation and a specific hypermethylation signature. Furthermore, expression of 2HG-producing IDH alleles in cells induced global DNA hypermethylation. In the AML cohort, IDH1/2 mutations were mutually exclusive with mutations in the α-ketoglutarate-dependent enzyme TET2, and TET2 loss-of-function mutations were associated with similar epigenetic defects as IDH1/2 mutants. Consistent with these genetic and epigenetic data, expression of IDH mutants impaired TET2 catalytic function in cells. Finally, either expression of mutant IDH1/2 or Tet2 depletion impaired hematopoietic differentiation and increased stem/progenitor cell marker expression, suggesting a shared proleukemogenic effect.
    Cancer cell 12/2010; 18(6):553-67. · 25.29 Impact Factor
  • K E Yen, M A Bittinger, S M Su, V R Fantin
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    ABSTRACT: The discovery of somatic mutations in the isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) enzymes through a genome-wide mutational analysis in glioblastoma represents a milestone event in cancer biology. The nature of the heterozygous, point mutations mapping to arginine residues involved in the substrate binding inspired several research teams to investigate their impact on the biochemical activity of these enzymes. Soon, it became clear that the mutations identified impaired the ability of IDH1 and IDH2 to catalyze the conversion of isocitrate to α-ketoglutarate (αKG), whereas conferring a gain of a novel enzymatic activity leading to the reduction of αKG to the metabolite D2-hydroxyglutarate (D-2HG). Across glioma as well as several hematologic malignancies, mutations in IDH1 and IDH2 have shown prognostic value. Several hypotheses implicating the elevated levels of D-2HG and tumorigenesis, and the therapeutic potential of targeting mutant IDH enzymes will be discussed.
    Oncogene 10/2010; 29(49):6409-17. · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in the enzyme cytosolic isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) are a common feature of a major subset of primary human brain cancers. These mutations occur at a single amino acid residue of the IDH1 active site, resulting in loss of the enzyme's ability to catalyse conversion of isocitrate to α-ketoglutarate. However, only a single copy of the gene is mutated in tumours, raising the possibility that the mutations do not result in a simple loss of function. Here we show that cancer-associated IDH1 mutations result in a new ability of the enzyme to catalyse the NADPH-dependent reduction of α-ketoglutarate to R(-)-2-hydroxyglutarate (2HG). Structural studies demonstrate that when arginine 132 is mutated to histidine, residues in the active site are shifted to produce structural changes consistent with reduced oxidative decarboxylation of isocitrate and acquisition of the ability to convert α-ketoglutarate to 2HG. Excess accumulation of 2HG has been shown to lead to an elevated risk of malignant brain tumours in patients with inborn errors of 2HG metabolism. Similarly, in human malignant gliomas harbouring IDH1 mutations, we find markedly elevated levels of 2HG. These data demonstrate that the IDH1 mutations result in production of the onco-metabolite 2HG, and indicate that the excess 2HG which accumulates in vivo contributes to the formation and malignant progression of gliomas.
    Nature 06/2010; 465(7300):966. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The somatic mutations in cytosolic isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) observed in gliomas can lead to the production of 2-hydroxyglutarate (2HG). Here, we report that tumor 2HG is elevated in a high percentage of patients with cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Surprisingly, less than half of cases with elevated 2HG possessed IDH1 mutations. The remaining cases with elevated 2HG had mutations in IDH2, the mitochondrial homolog of IDH1. These data demonstrate that a shared feature of all cancer-associated IDH mutations is production of the oncometabolite 2HG. Furthermore, AML patients with IDH mutations display a significantly reduced number of other well characterized AML-associated mutations and/or associated chromosomal abnormalities, potentially implicating IDH mutation in a distinct mechanism of AML pathogenesis.
    Cancer cell 02/2010; 17(3):225-34. · 25.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 and 2 (IDH1/2), are present in most gliomas and secondary glioblastomas, but are rare in other neoplasms. IDH1/2 mutations are heterozygous, and affect a single arginine residue. Recently, IDH1 mutations were identified in 8% of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) patients. A glioma study revealed that IDH1 mutations cause a gain-of-function, resulting in the production and accumulation of 2-hydroxyglutarate (2-HG). Genotyping of 145 AML biopsies identified 11 IDH1 R132 mutant samples. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry metabolite screening revealed increased 2-HG levels in IDH1 R132 mutant cells and sera, and uncovered two IDH2 R172K mutations. IDH1/2 mutations were associated with normal karyotypes. Recombinant IDH1 R132C and IDH2 R172K proteins catalyze the novel nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH)-dependent reduction of alpha-ketoglutarate (alpha-KG) to 2-HG. The IDH1 R132C mutation commonly found in AML reduces the affinity for isocitrate, and increases the affinity for NADPH and alpha-KG. This prevents the oxidative decarboxylation of isocitrate to alpha-KG, and facilitates the conversion of alpha-KG to 2-HG. IDH1/2 mutations confer an enzymatic gain of function that dramatically increases 2-HG in AML. This provides an explanation for the heterozygous acquisition of these mutations during tumorigenesis. 2-HG is a tractable metabolic biomarker of mutant IDH1/2 enzyme activity.
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 02/2010; 207(2):339-44. · 13.21 Impact Factor
  • Ejc Supplements - EJC SUPPL. 01/2010; 8(7):56-56.
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    ABSTRACT: Vorinostat, a histone deacetylase inhibitor, represents a rational therapeutic target in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Patients with recurrent GBM who had received one or fewer chemotherapy regimens for progressive disease were eligible. Vorinostat was administered at a dose of 200 mg orally twice a day for 14 days, followed by a 7-day rest period. A total of 66 patients were treated. Grade 3 or worse nonhematologic toxicity occurred in 26% of patients and consisted mainly of fatigue (17%), dehydration (6%), and hypernatremia (5%); grade 3 or worse hematologic toxicity occurred in 26% of patients and consisted mainly of thrombocytopenia (22%). Pharmacokinetic analysis showed lower vorinostat maximum concentration and area under the curve (0 to 24 hours) values in patients treated with enzyme-inducing anticonvulsants, although this did not reach statistical significance. The trial met the prospectively defined primary efficacy end point, with nine of the first 52 patients being progression-free at 6 months. Median overall survival from study entry was 5.7 months (range, 0.7 to 28+ months). Immunohistochemical analysis performed in paired baseline and post-vorinostat treatment samples in a separate surgical subgroup of five patients with recurrent GBM showed post treatment increase in acetylation of histones H2B and H4 (four of five patients) and of histone H3 (three of five patients). Microarray RNA analysis in the same samples showed changes in genes regulated by vorinostat, such as upregulation of E-cadherin (P = .02). Vorinostat monotherapy is well tolerated in patients with recurrent GBM and has modest single-agent activity. Histone acetylation analysis and RNA expression profiling indicate that vorinostat in this dose and schedule affects target pathways in GBM. Additional testing of vorinostat in combination regimens is warranted.
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 04/2009; 27(12):2052-8. · 18.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in the enzyme cytosolic isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) are a common feature of a major subset of primary human brain cancers. These mutations occur at a single amino acid residue of the IDH1 active site, resulting in loss of the enzyme's ability to catalyse conversion of isocitrate to {alpha}-ketoglutarate. However, only a single copy of the gene is mutated in tumours, raising the possibility that the mutations do not result in a simple loss of function. Here we show that cancer-associated IDH1 mutations result in a new ability of the enzyme to catalyse the NADPH-dependent reduction of {alpha}-ketoglutarate to R(-)-2-hydroxyglutarate (2HG). Structural studies demonstrate that when arginine 132 is mutated to histidine, residues in the active site are shifted to produce structural changes consistent with reduced oxidative decarboxylation of isocitrate and acquisition of the ability to convert {alpha}-ketoglutarate to 2HG. Excess accumulation of 2HG has been shown to lead to an elevated risk of malignant brain tumours in patients with inborn errors of 2HG metabolism. Similarly, in human malignant gliomas harbouring IDH1 mutations, we find markedly elevated levels of 2HG. These data demonstrate that the IDH1 mutations result in production of the onco-metabolite 2HG, and indicate that the excess 2HG which accumulates in vivo contributes to the formation and malignant progression of gliomas.
    Nature 01/2009; 462(7274). · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vorinostat is a histone deacetylase inhibitor that induces differentiation, growth arrest, and/or apoptosis of malignant cells both in vitro and in vivo and has shown clinical responses in approximately 30% of patients with advanced mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). The purpose of this study was to identify biomarkers predictive of vorinostat response in CTCL using preclinical model systems and to assess these biomarkers in clinical samples. The signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) signaling pathway was evaluated. The data indicate that persistent activation of STAT1, STAT3, and STAT5 correlate with resistance to vorinostat in lymphoma cell lines. Simultaneous treatment with a pan-Janus-activated kinase inhibitor resulted in synergistic antiproliferative effect and down-regulation of the expression of several antiapoptotic genes. Immunohistochemical analysis of STAT1 and phosphorylated tyrosine STAT3 (pSTAT3) in skin biopsies obtained from CTCL patients enrolled in the vorinostat phase IIb trial showed that nuclear accumulation of STAT1 and high levels of nuclear pSTAT3 in malignant T cells correlate with a lack of clinical response. These results suggest that deregulation of STAT activity plays a role in vorinostat resistance in CTCL, and strategies that block this pathway may improve vorinostat response. Furthermore, these findings may be of prognostic value in predicting the response of CTCL patients to vorinostat.
    Cancer Research 06/2008; 68(10):3785-94. · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vorinostat (suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid, SAHA) is a histone deacetylase inhibitor active clinically in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma and preclinically in leukemia. A phase 1 study was conducted to evaluate the safety and activity of oral vorinostat 100 to 300 mg twice or thrice daily for 14 days followed by 1-week rest. Patients with relapsed or refractory leukemias or myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and untreated patients who were not candidates for chemotherapy were eligible. Of 41 patients, 31 had acute myeloid leukemia (AML), 4 chronic lymphocytic leukemia, 3 MDS, 2 acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and 1 chronic myelocytic leukemia. The maximum tolerated dose (MTD) was 200 mg twice daily or 250 mg thrice daily. Dose-limiting toxicities were fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Common drug-related adverse experiences were diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, and anorexia and were mild/moderate in severity. Grade 3/4 drug-related adverse experiences included fatigue (27%), thrombocytopenia (12%), and diarrhea (10%). There were no drug-related deaths; 7 patients had hematologic improvement response, including 2 complete responses and 2 complete responses with incomplete blood count recovery (all with AML treated at/below MTD). Increased histone acetylation was observed at all doses. Antioxidant gene expression may confer vorinostat resistance. Further evaluation of vorinostat in AML/MDS is warranted.
    Blood 03/2008; 111(3):1060-6. · 9.78 Impact Factor
  • Valeria R Fantin, Victoria M Richon
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    ABSTRACT: Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDI) are a promising new approach to the treatment of cancer. HDIs have been shown to induce differentiation, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis in a variety of transformed cell lines; inhibit tumor growth in animal models; and show antitumor activity in clinical trials. Vorinostat, which has shown clinical responses in approximately 30% of patients with advanced cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, is the first HDI approved for the treatment of cancer, and it is currently being evaluated in other indications. A better understanding of the molecular determinants of resistance to HDIs may provide the basis for therapeutic combinations with improved clinical efficacy. Poor response to treatment could be linked to systemic factors like pharmacokinetics or to tumor-specific factors both at the level of the malignant cells (tumor intrinsic) or the tumor microenvironment. This review focuses on the tumor intrinsic mechanisms of drug resistance (excluding mechanism of acquired resistance due to chronic exposure). In particular, attention is given to selected mechanisms that are relevant across chemical classes of HDIs and that can aid in the design of rational combination strategies.
    Clinical Cancer Research 01/2008; 13(24):7237-42. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Björnstad syndrome, an autosomal recessive disorder associated with sensorineural hearing loss and pili torti, is caused by mutation of a previously unidentified gene on chromosome 2q34-36. Refined genetic mapping and DNA sequencing of 44 genes between D2S2210 and D2S2244 revealed BCS1L mutations. Functional analyses elucidated how BCS1L mutations cause the Björnstad syndrome. BCS1L encodes a member of the AAA family of ATPases that is necessary for the assembly of complex III in the mitochondria. In addition to the Björnstad syndrome, BCS1L mutations cause complex III deficiency and the GRACILE syndrome, which in neonates are lethal conditions that have multisystem and neurologic manifestations typifying severe mitochondrial disorders. Patients with the Björnstad syndrome have mutations that alter residues involved in protein-protein interactions, whereas mutations in patients with complex III deficiency alter ATP-binding residues, as deduced from the crystal structure of a related AAA-family ATPase. Biochemical studies provided evidence to support this model: complex III deficiency mutations prevented ATP-dependent assembly of BCS1L-associated complexes. All mutant BCS1L proteins disrupted the assembly of complex III, reduced the activity of the mitochondrial electron-transport chain, and increased the production of reactive oxygen species. However, only mutations associated with complex III deficiency increased mitochondrial content, which further increased the production of reactive oxygen species. BCS1L mutations cause disease phenotypes ranging from highly restricted pili torti and sensorineural hearing loss (the Björnstad syndrome) to profound multisystem organ failure (complex III deficiency and the GRACILE syndrome). All BCS1L mutations disrupted the assembly of mitochondrial respirasomes (the basic unit for respiration in human mitochondria), but the clinical expression of the mutations was correlated with the production of reactive oxygen species. Mutations that cause the Björnstad syndrome illustrate the exquisite sensitivity of ear and hair tissues to mitochondrial function, particularly to the production of reactive oxygen species.
    New England Journal of Medicine 03/2007; 356(8):809-19. · 54.42 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
427.55 Total Impact Points

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Institutions

  • 2011–2012
    • Agios Pharmaceuticals
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2002–2011
    • Harvard Medical School
      • • Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
      • • Department of Genetics
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 2006
    • Merck
      Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, United States
  • 2004–2006
    • Howard Hughes Medical Institute
      Ashburn, Virginia, United States