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Reutlingen, Germany

Haack T.B.,TU Munich | Haack T.B.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Kopajtich R.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Freisinger P.,Klinikum Reutlingen | And 23 more authors.
American Journal of Human Genetics

The human mitochondrial genome encodes RNA components of its own translational machinery to produce the 13 mitochondrial-encoded subunits of the respiratory chain. Nuclear-encoded gene products are essential for all processes within the organelle, including RNA processing. Transcription of the mitochondrial genome generates large polycistronic transcripts punctuated by the 22 mitochondrial (mt) tRNAs that are conventionally cleaved by the RNase P-complex and the RNase Z activity of ELAC2 at 5′ and 3′ ends, respectively. We report the identification of mutations in ELAC2 in five individuals with infantile hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and complex I deficiency. We observed accumulated mtRNA precursors in affected individuals muscle and fibroblasts. Although mature mt-tRNA, mt-mRNA, and mt-rRNA levels were not decreased in fibroblasts, the processing defect was associated with impaired mitochondrial translation. Complementation experiments in mutant cell lines restored RNA processing and a yeast model provided additional evidence for the disease-causal role of defective ELAC2, thereby linking mtRNA processing to human disease. © 2013 The Authors. Source

Gai X.,Loyola University | Ghezzi D.,Institute of Neurology Besta | Johnson M.A.,MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit | Biagosch C.A.,TU Munich | And 47 more authors.
American Journal of Human Genetics

Whole-exome sequencing and autozygosity mapping studies, independently performed in subjects with defective combined mitochondrial OXPHOS-enzyme deficiencies, identified a total of nine disease-segregating FBXL4 mutations in seven unrelated mitochondrial disease families, composed of six singletons and three siblings. All subjects manifested early-onset lactic acidemia, hypotonia, and developmental delay caused by severe encephalomyopathy consistently associated with progressive cerebral atrophy and variable involvement of the white matter, deep gray nuclei, and brainstem structures. A wide range of other multisystem features were variably seen, including dysmorphism, skeletal abnormalities, poor growth, gastrointestinal dysmotility, renal tubular acidosis, seizures, and episodic metabolic failure. Mitochondrial respiratory chain deficiency was present in muscle or fibroblasts of all tested individuals, together with markedly reduced oxygen consumption rate and hyperfragmentation of the mitochondrial network in cultured cells. In muscle and fibroblasts from several subjects, substantially decreased mtDNA content was observed. FBXL4 is a member of the F-box family of proteins, some of which are involved in phosphorylation-dependent ubiquitination and/or G protein receptor coupling. We also demonstrate that FBXL4 is targeted to mitochondria and localizes in the intermembrane space, where it participates in an approximately 400 kDa protein complex. These data strongly support a role for FBXL4 in controlling bioenergetic homeostasis and mtDNA maintenance. FBXL4 mutations are a recurrent cause of mitochondrial encephalomyopathy onset in early infancy. © 2013 The American Society of Human Genetics. Source

Brea-Calvo G.,Pablo De Olavide University | Haack T.B.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Haack T.B.,TU Munich | Karall D.,Innsbruck Medical University | And 34 more authors.
American Journal of Human Genetics

Primary coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) deficiencies are rare, clinically heterogeneous disorders caused by mutations in several genes encoding proteins involved in CoQ10 biosynthesis. CoQ10 is an essential component of the electron transport chain (ETC), where it shuttles electrons from complex I or II to complex III. By whole-exome sequencing, we identified five individuals carrying biallelic mutations in COQ4. The precise function of human COQ4 is not known, but it seems to play a structural role in stabilizing a multiheteromeric complex that contains most of the CoQ10 biosynthetic enzymes. The clinical phenotypes of the five subjects varied widely, but four had a prenatal or perinatal onset with early fatal outcome. Two unrelated individuals presented with severe hypotonia, bradycardia, respiratory insufficiency, and heart failure; two sisters showed antenatal cerebellar hypoplasia, neonatal respiratory-distress syndrome, and epileptic encephalopathy. The fifth subject had an early-onset but slowly progressive clinical course dominated by neurological deterioration with hardly any involvement of other organs. All available specimens from affected subjects showed reduced amounts of CoQ10 and often displayed a decrease in CoQ10-dependent ETC complex activities. The pathogenic role of all identified mutations was experimentally validated in a recombinant yeast model; oxidative growth, strongly impaired in strains lacking COQ4, was corrected by expression of human wild-type COQ4 cDNA but failed to be corrected by expression of COQ4 cDNAs with any of the mutations identified in affected subjects. COQ4 mutations are responsible for early-onset mitochondrial diseases with heterogeneous clinical presentations and associated with CoQ10 deficiency. © 2015 The Authors. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license. Source

Haack T.B.,TU Munich | Haack T.B.,Helmholtz Center Munich | Makowski C.,TU Munich | Yao Y.,Kyoto University | And 17 more authors.
Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease

Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere syndrome (BVVLS [MIM 211530]) is a rare neurological disorder characterized by infancy onset sensorineural deafness and ponto-bulbar palsy. Mutations in SLC52A3 (formerly C20orf54), coding for riboflavin transporter 2 (hRFT2), have been identified as the molecular genetic correlate in several individuals with BVVLS. Exome sequencing of just one single case revealed that compound heterozygosity for two pathogenic mutations in the SLC52A2 gene coding for riboflavin transporter 3 (hRFT3), another member of the riboflavin transporter family, is also associated with BVVLS. Overexpression studies confirmed that the gene products of both mutant alleles have reduced riboflavin transport activities. While mutations in SLC52A3 cause decreased plasma riboflavin levels, concordant with a role of SLC52A3 in riboflavin uptake from food, the SLC52A2-mutant individual had normal plasma riboflavin concentrations, a finding in line with a postulated function of SLC52A2 in riboflavin uptake from blood into target cells. Our results contribute to the understanding of human riboflavin metabolism and underscore its role in the pathogenesis of BVVLS, thereby providing a rational basis for a high-dose riboflavin treatment. © 2012 SSIEM and Springer. Source

Kopajtich R.,Helmholtz Center Munich | Nicholls T.J.,MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit | Rorbach J.,MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit | Metodiev M.D.,University of Paris Descartes | And 57 more authors.
American Journal of Human Genetics

Respiratory chain deficiencies exhibit a wide variety of clinical phenotypes resulting from defective mitochondrial energy production through oxidative phosphorylation. These defects can be caused by either mutations in the mtDNA or mutations in nuclear genes coding for mitochondrial proteins. The underlying pathomechanisms can affect numerous pathways involved in mitochondrial physiology. By whole-exome and candidate gene sequencing, we identified 11 individuals from 9 families carrying compound heterozygous or homozygous mutations in GTPBP3, encoding the mitochondrial GTP-binding protein 3. Affected individuals from eight out of nine families presented with combined respiratory chain complex deficiencies in skeletal muscle. Mutations in GTPBP3 are associated with a severe mitochondrial translation defect, consistent with the predicted function of the protein in catalyzing the formation of 5-taurinomethyluridine (τm5U) in the anticodon wobble position of five mitochondrial tRNAs. All case subjects presented with lactic acidosis and nine developed hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. In contrast to individuals with mutations in MTO1, the protein product of which is predicted to participate in the generation of the same modification, most individuals with GTPBP3 mutations developed neurological symptoms and MRI involvement of thalamus, putamen, and brainstem resembling Leigh syndrome. Our study of a mitochondrial translation disorder points toward the importance of posttranscriptional modification of mitochondrial tRNAs for proper mitochondrial function. © 2014 The American Society of Human Genetics. Source

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