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Bosisio Parini, Italy

Porcelli A.M.,University of Bologna | Ghelli A.,University of Bologna | Ceccarelli C.,Policlinico Universitario sola Malpighi | Lang M.,University of Bologna | And 16 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2010

We previously showed that disruptive complex I mutations in mitochondrial DNA are the main genetic hallmark of oncocytic tumors of the thyroid and kidney. We here report a high frequency of homoplasmic disruptive mutations in a large panel of oncocytic pituitary and head-and-neck tumors. The presence of such mutations implicates disassembly of respiratory complex I in vivo which in turn contributes to the inability of oncocytic tumors to stabilize HIF1a and to display pseudo-hypoxia. By utilizing transmitochondrial cytoplasmic hybrids (cybrids), we induced the shift to homoplasmy of a truncating mutation in the mitochondria-coded MTND1 gene. Such shift is associated with a profound metabolic impairment leading to the imbalance of α-ketoglutarate and succinate, the Krebs cycle metabolites which are the main responsible for HIF1α stabilization. We conclude that the main hallmarks of oncocytic transformation, namely the occurrence of homoplasmic disruptive mutations and complex I disassembly, may explain the benign nature of oncocytic neoplasms through lack of HIF1a stabilization. © The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org.

Giorda R.,Istituto Scientifico E. Medea | Beri S.,Istituto Scientifico E. Medea | Bonaglia M.C.,Istituto Scientifico E. Medea | Spaccini L.,Ospedale Dei Bambini v Buzzi | And 6 more authors.
American Journal of Medical Genetics, Part A | Year: 2011

Rare intrachromosomal triplications producing partial tetrasomies have been reported for a number of chromosomes. A detailed molecular characterization, necessary to define the mechanism of their formation, has so far been lacking. We report on the detailed clinical, cytogenetic, and molecular characterization of two triplications, one de novo involving chromosome 18q, the other familial on chromosome Xp. The clinical phenotype of the patient with 18q triplication, very likely due to overexpression of one or more of the genes in the region, consists mainly of facial dysmorphisms and developmental delay. The familial Xp triplication does not cause an increase in the number of copies of any gene and is almost certainly a polymorphism. The rearrangements are actually complex duplications/triplications. In both patients, their proximal breakpoints are located within complex segmental duplications, one containing the VCX gene cluster on chromosome Xp, the other the TCEB3 genes on chromosome 18q. A proximal duplicated region is also present in both patients. All junctions we analyzed were formed by non-homologous end joining (NHEJ). The structural features shared between our patients suggest the involvement of a common mechanism in the genesis of interstitial intrachromosomal triplications. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Ghelli A.,University of Bologna | Tropeano C.V.,University of Bologna | Calvaruso M.A.,University of Bologna | Marchesini A.,University of Bologna | And 12 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2013

Cytochrome b is the only mtDNA-encoded subunit of the mitochondrial complex III (CIII), the functional bottleneck of the respiratory chain. Previously, the human cytochrome b missense mutation m.15579A>G, which substitutes the Tyr 278 with Cys (p.278Y>C), was identified in a patient with severe exercise intolerance and multisystem manifestations. In this study, we characterized the biochemical properties of cybrids carrying this mutation and report that the homoplasmic p.278Y>C mutation caused a dramatic reduction in the CIII activity and in CIII-driven mitochondrial ATP synthesis. However, the CI, CI 1 CIII and CII 1 CIII activities and the rate of ATP synthesis driven by the CI or CII substrate were only partially reduced or unaffected. Consistent with these findings, mutated cybrids maintained the mitochondrial membrane potential in the presence of oligomycin, indicating that it originated from the respiratory electron transport chain. The p.278Y>C mutation enhanced superoxide production, as indicated by direct measurements in mitochondria and by the imbalance of glutathione homeostasis in intact cybrids. Remarkably, although the assembly of CI or CIII was not affected, the examination of respiratory supercomplexes revealed that the amounts of CIII dimer and III2IV1 were reduced, whereas those of I1III2IVn slightly increased. We therefore suggest that the deleterious effects of p.278Y>C mutation on cytochrome b are palliated when CIII is assembled into the supercomplexes I1III2IVn, in contrast to when it is found alone. These findings underline the importance of supramolecular interactions between complexes for maintaining a basal respiratory chain activity and shed light to the molecular basis of disease manifestations associated with this mutation. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

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