Mitochondrial DNA replication and disease: insights from DNA polymerase ? mutations.
ABSTRACT: DNA polymerase ? (pol ?), encoded by POLG, is responsible for replicating human mitochondrial DNA. About 150 mutations in the human POLG have been identified in patients with mitochondrial diseases such as Alpers syndrome, progressive external ophthalmoplegia, and ataxia-neuropathy syndromes. Because many of the mutations are described in single citations with no genotypic family history, it is important to ascertain which mutations cause or contribute to mitochondrial disease. The vast majority of data about POLG mutations has been generated from biochemical characterizations of recombinant pol ?. However, recently, the study of mitochondrial dysfunction in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and mouse models provides important in vivo evidence for the role of POLG mutations in disease. Also, the published 3D-structure of the human pol ? assists in explaining some of the biochemical and genetic properties of the mutants. This review summarizes the current evidence that identifies and explains disease-causing POLG mutations.
Project description:Mip1 is the Saccharomyces cerevisiae DNA polymerase ? (Pol ?), which is responsible for the replication of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). It belongs to the family A of the DNA polymerases and it is orthologs to human POLGA. In humans, mutations in POLG(1) cause many mitochondrial pathologies, such as progressive external ophthalmoplegia (PEO), Alpers' syndrome, and ataxia-neuropathy syndrome, all of which present instability of mtDNA, which results in impaired mitochondrial function in several tissues with variable degrees of severity. In this review, we summarize the genetic and biochemical knowledge published on yeast mitochondrial DNA polymerase from 1989, when the MIP1 gene was first cloned, up until now. The role of yeast is particularly emphasized in (i) validating the pathological mutations found in human POLG and modeled in MIP1, (ii) determining the molecular defects caused by these mutations and (iii) finding the correlation between mutations/polymorphisms in POLGA and mtDNA toxicity induced by specific drugs. We also describe recent findings regarding the discovery of molecules able to rescue the phenotypic defects caused by pathological mutations in Mip1, and the construction of a model system in which the human Pol ? holoenzyme is expressed in yeast and complements the loss of Mip1.
Project description:DNA polymerase gamma (POLG) is the replicative polymerase responsible for maintaining mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Disorders related to its functionality are a major cause of mitochondrial disease. The clinical spectrum of POLG syndromes includes Alpers-Huttenlocher syndrome (AHS), childhood myocerebrohepatopathy spectrum (MCHS), myoclonic epilepsy myopathy sensory ataxia (MEMSA), the ataxia neuropathy spectrum (ANS) and progressive external ophthalmoplegia (PEO). We have collected all publicly available POLG-related patient data and analyzed it using our pathogenic clustering model to provide a new research and clinical tool in the form of an online server. The server evaluates the pathogenicity of both previously reported and novel mutations. There are currently 176 unique point mutations reported and found in mitochondrial patients in the gene encoding the catalytic subunit of POLG, POLG. The mutations are distributed nearly uniformly along the length of the primary amino acid sequence of the gene. Our analysis shows that most of the mutations are recessive, and that the reported dominant mutations cluster within the polymerase active site in the tertiary structure of the POLG enzyme. The POLG Pathogenicity Prediction Server (http://polg.bmb.msu.edu) is targeted at clinicians and scientists studying POLG disorders, and aims to provide the most current available information regarding the pathogenicity of POLG mutations.
Project description:Mutations in the POLG gene have emerged as one of the most common causes of inherited mitochondrial disease in children and adults. They are responsible for a heterogeneous group of at least 6 major phenotypes of neurodegenerative disease that include: 1) childhood Myocerebrohepatopathy Spectrum disorders (MCHS), 2) Alpers syndrome, 3) Ataxia Neuropathy Spectrum (ANS) disorders, 4) Myoclonus Epilepsy Myopathy Sensory Ataxia (MEMSA), 5) autosomal recessive Progressive External Ophthalmoplegia (arPEO), and 6) autosomal dominant Progressive External Ophthalmoplegia (adPEO). Due to the clinical heterogeneity, time-dependent evolution of symptoms, overlapping phenotypes, and inconsistencies in muscle pathology findings, definitive diagnosis relies on the molecular finding of deleterious mutations. We sequenced the exons and flanking intron region from approximately 350 patients displaying a phenotype consistent with POLG related mitochondrial disease and found informative mutations in 61 (17%). Two mutant alleles were identified in 31 unrelated index patients with autosomal recessive POLG-related disorders. Among them, 20 (67%) had Alpers syndrome, 4 (13%) had arPEO, and 3 (10%) had ANS. In addition, 30 patients carrying one altered POLG allele were found. A total of 25 novel alterations were identified, including 6 null mutations. We describe the predicted structural/functional and clinical importance of the previously unreported missense variants and discuss their likelihood of being pathogenic. In conclusion, sequence analysis allows the identification of mutations responsible for POLG-related disorders and, in most of the autosomal recessive cases where two mutant alleles are found in trans, finding deleterious mutations can provide an unequivocal diagnosis of the disease.
Project description:Human mitochondrial DNA polymerase ? (pol ?) is solely responsible for the replication and repair of the mitochondrial genome. Unsurprisingly, alterations in pol ? activity have been associated with mitochondrial diseases such as Alpers syndrome and progressive external ophthalmoplegia. Thus far, predicting the severity of mitochondrial disease based the magnitude of deficiency in pol ? activity has been difficult. In order to understand the relationship between disease severity in patients and enzymatic defects in vitro, we characterized the molecular mechanisms of four pol ? mutations, A957P, A957S, R1096C and R1096H, which have been found in patients suffering from aggressive Alpers syndrome to mild progressive external ophthalmoplegia. The A957P mutant showed the most striking deficiencies in the incorporation efficiency of a correct deoxyribonucleotide triphosphate (dNTP) relative to wild-type pol ?, with less, but still significant incorporation efficiency defects seen in R1096H and R1096C, and only a small decrease in incorporation efficiency observed for A957S. Importantly, this trend matches the disease severity observed in patients very well (approximated as A957P ? R1096C ? R1096H ? A957S, from most severe disease to least severe). Further, the A957P mutation conferred a two orders of magnitude loss of fidelity relative to wild-type pol ?, indicating that a buildup of mitochondrial genomic mutations may contribute to the death in infancy seen with these patients. We conclude that characterizing the unique molecular mechanisms of pol ? deficiency for physiologically important mutant enzymes is important for understanding mitochondrial disease and for predicting disease severity.
Project description:Mutations in the mitochondrial DNA polymerase, POLG, are associated with a variety of clinical presentations, ranging from early onset fatal brain disease in Alpers syndrome to chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia. The majority of mutations are linked with disturbances of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) integrity and maintenance. On a molecular level, depending on their location within the enzyme, mutations either lead to mtDNA depletion or the accumulation of multiple mtDNA deletions, and in some cases these molecular changes can be correlated to the clinical presentation. We identified a patient with a dominant p.Y955H mutation in POLG, presenting with a severe, early-onset multi-systemic mitochondrial disease with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss, cataract, myopathy, and liver failure. Using a combination of disease models of Drosophila melanogaster and in vitro biochemistry analysis, we compare the molecular consequences of the p.Y955H mutation to the well-documented p.Y955C mutation. We demonstrate that both mutations affect mtDNA replication and display a dominant negative effect, with the p.Y955H allele resulting in a more severe polymerase dysfunction.
Project description:The human mitochondrial genome is replicated by DNA polymerase ? in concert with key components of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) replication machinery. Defects in mtDNA replication or nucleotide metabolism cause deletions, point mutations, or depletion of mtDNA. The resulting loss of cellular respiration ultimately induces mitochondrial genetic diseases, including mtDNA depletion syndromes (MDS) such as Alpers or early infantile hepatocerebral syndromes, and mtDNA deletion disorders such as progressive external ophthalmoplegia, ataxia-neuropathy, or mitochondrial neurogastrointestinal encephalomyopathy. Here we review the current literature regarding human mtDNA replication and heritable disorders caused by genetic changes of the POLG, POLG2, Twinkle, RNASEH1, DNA2, and MGME1 genes.
Project description:Human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) polymerase γ (Pol γ) is the only polymerase known to replicate the mitochondrial genome. The Pol γ holoenzyme consists of the p140 catalytic subunit (POLG) and the p55 homodimeric accessory subunit (POLG2), which enhances binding of Pol γ to DNA and promotes processivity of the holoenzyme. Mutations within POLG impede maintenance of mtDNA and cause mitochondrial diseases. Two common POLG mutations usually found in cis in patients primarily with progressive external ophthalmoplegia generate T251I and P587L amino acid substitutions. To determine whether T251I or P587L is the primary pathogenic allele or whether both substitutions are required to cause disease, we overproduced and purified WT, T251I, P587L, and T251I + P587L double variant forms of recombinant Pol γ. Biochemical characterization of these variants revealed impaired DNA binding affinity, reduced thermostability, diminished exonuclease activity, defective catalytic activity, and compromised DNA processivity, even in the presence of the p55 accessory subunit. However, physical association with p55 was unperturbed, suggesting intersubunit affinities similar to WT. Notably, although the single mutants were similarly impaired, a dramatic synergistic effect was found for the double mutant across all parameters. In conclusion, our analyses suggest that individually both T251I and P587L substitutions functionally impair Pol γ, with greater pathogenicity predicted for the single P587L variant. Combining T251I and P587L induces extreme thermal lability and leads to synergistic nucleotide and DNA binding defects, which severely impair catalytic activity and correlate with presentation of disease in patients.
Project description:Objective:To determine the pathogenicity of a novel POLG mutation in a man with late-onset autosomal recessive progressive external ophthalmoplegia using clinical, molecular, and biochemical analyses. Methods:A multipronged approach with detailed neurologic examinations, muscle biopsy analyses, molecular genetic studies, and in vitro biochemical characterization. Results:The patient had slowly progressive bilateral ptosis and severely reduced horizontal and vertical gaze. Muscle biopsy showed slight variability in muscle fiber size, scattered ragged red fibers, and partial cytochrome c oxidase deficiency. Biallelic mutations were identified in the POLG gene encoding the catalytic A subunit of POL?. One allele carried a novel mutation in the exonuclease domain (c.590T>C; p.F197S), and the other had a previously characterized null mutation in the polymerase domain (c.2740A>C; p.T914P). Biochemical characterization revealed that the novel F197S mutant protein had reduced exonuclease and DNA polymerase activities and confirmed that T914P was inactive. By deep sequencing of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) extracted from muscle, multiple large-scale rearrangements were mapped and quantified. Conclusions:The patient's phenotype was caused by biallelic POLG mutations, resulting in one inactive POL?A protein (T914P) and one with decreased polymerase and exonuclease activity (F197S). The reduction in polymerase activity explains the presence of multiple pathogenic large-scale deletions in the patient's mtDNA.
Project description:Mutations in Pol γ represent a major cause of human mitochondrial diseases, especially those affecting the nervous system in adults and in children. Recessive mutations in Pol γ represent nearly half of those reported to date, and they are nearly uniformly distributed along the length of the POLG1 gene (Human DNA Polymerase gamma Mutation Database); the majority of them are linked to the most severe form of POLG syndrome, Alpers-Huttenlocher syndrome. In this report, we assess the structure-function relationships for recessive disease mutations by reviewing existing biochemical data on site-directed mutagenesis of the human, Drosophila and yeast Pol γs, and their homologs from the family A DNA polymerase group. We do so in the context of a molecular model of Pol γ in complex with primer-template DNA, which we have developed based upon the recently solved crystal structure of the apoenzyme form. We present evidence that recessive mutations cluster within five distinct functional modules in the catalytic core of Pol γ. Our results suggest that cluster prediction can be used as a diagnosis-supporting tool to evaluate the pathogenic role of new Pol γ variants.
Project description:Mitochondrial DNA is replicated and repaired by DNA polymerase gamma (pol gamma), encoded by the POLG gene. The Y955C substitution in POLG leads to autosomal dominant progressive external ophthalmoplegia (PEO) with other severe phenotypes. PEO patients with this mutation can further develop parkinsonism or premature ovarian failure. Mouse and yeast models with this mutation show enhanced amounts of oxidative lesions and increased mtDNA damage. In DNA pol gamma, Tyr955 plays a critical role in catalysis and high fidelity DNA synthesis. 7,8-dihydro-8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxo-dG) is one of the most common oxidative lesions in DNA and can promote transversion mutations. Mitochondria are thought to be a major source of endogenous reactive oxygen species that can react with dG to form 8-oxo-dG as one of the more common products. DNA polymerases can mitigate mutagenesis by 8-oxo-dG through allosteric interactions from amino acid side chains, which limit the anti-conformation of the 8-oxo-dG template base during translesion DNA synthesis. Here, we show that the Y955C pol gamma displays relaxed discrimination when either incorporating 8-oxo-dGTP or translesion synthesis opposite 8-oxo-dG. Molecular modeling and biochemical analysis suggest that this residue, Tyr955, in conjunction with Phe961 helps attenuate the anti-conformation in human pol gamma for error free bypass of 8-oxo-dG and substitution to Cys allows the mutagenic syn conformation. Collectively, these results offer a biochemical link between the observed oxidative stress in model systems and parkinsonism in patients, suggesting that patients harboring the Y955C POLG mutation may undergo enhanced oxidative stress and DNA mutagenesis.