ABSTRACT: Friedreich ataxia (FRDA) is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease most commonly caused by a GAA trinucleotide repeat expansion in the first intron of FXN, which reduces expression of the mitochondrial protein frataxin. Approximately 98% of individuals with FRDA are homozygous for GAA expansions, with the remaining 2% compound heterozygotes for a GAA expansion and a point mutation within FXN. Two siblings with early onset of symptoms experienced rapid loss of ambulation by 8 and 10 years. Diagnostic testing for FRDA demonstrated one GAA repeat expansion of 1010 repeats and one non-expanded allele. Sequencing all five exons of FXN identified a novel deletion-insertion mutation in exon 3 (c.371_376del6ins15), which results in a modified frataxin protein sequence at amino acid positions 124-127. Specifically, the amino acid sequence changes from DVSF to VHLEDT, increasing frataxin from 211 residues to 214. Using the known structure of human frataxin, a theoretical 3D model of the mutant protein was developed. In the event that the modified protein is expressed and stable, it is predicted that the acidic interface of frataxin, known to be involved in iron binding and interactions with the iron-sulphur cluster assembly factor IscU, would be impaired.
Neurogenetics 08/2011; 12(4):307-13. · 3.35 Impact Factor