Mitochondrial diseases caused by mtDNA mutations: a mini-review.
ABSTRACT: There are several types of mitochondrial cytopathies, which cause a set of disorders, arise as a result of mitochondria's failure. Mitochondria's functional disruption leads to development of physical, growing and cognitive disabilities and includes multiple organ pathologies, essentially disturbing the nervous and muscular systems. The origins of mitochondrial cytopathies are mutations in genes of nuclear DNA encoding mitochondrial proteins or in mitochondrial DNA. Nowadays, numerous mtDNA mutations significant to the appearance and progress of pathologies in humans are detected. In this mini-review, we accent on the mitochondrial cytopathies related to mutations of mtDNA. As well known, there are definite set of symptoms of mitochondrial cytopathies distinguishing or similar for different syndromes. The present article contains data about mutations linked with cytopathies that facilitate diagnosis of different syndromes by using genetic analysis methods. In addition, for every individual, more effective therapeutic approach could be developed after wide-range mutant background analysis of mitochondrial genome.
Project description:Somatic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations contribute to the pathogenesis of age-related disorders, including myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). The accumulation of mitochondria harboring mtDNA mutations in patients with these disorders suggests a failure of normal mitochondrial quality-control systems. The mtDNA-mutator mice acquire somatic mtDNA mutations via a targeted defect in the proofreading function of the mtDNA polymerase, PolgA, and develop macrocyticanemia similar to that of patients with MDS. We observed an unexpected defect in clearance of dysfunctional mitochondria at specific stages during erythroid maturation in hematopoietic cells from aged mtDNA-mutator mice. Mechanistically, aberrant activation of mechanistic target of rapamycin signaling and phosphorylation of uncoordinated 51-like kinase (ULK) 1 in mtDNA-mutator mice resulted in proteasome mediated degradation of ULK1 and inhibition of autophagy in erythroid cells. To directly evaluate the consequence of inhibiting autophagy on mitochondrial function in erythroid cells harboring mtDNA mutations in vivo, we deleted Atg7 from erythroid progenitors of wildtype and mtDNA-mutator mice. Genetic disruption of autophagy did not cause anemia in wild-type mice but accelerated the decline in mitochondrial respiration and development of macrocytic anemia in mtDNA-mutator mice. These findings highlight a pathological feedback loop that explains how dysfunctional mitochondria can escape autophagy-mediated degradation and propagate in cells predisposed to somatic mtDNA mutations, leading to disease. We used microarrays to identify expression profiles and pathways that are differentially activated or suppressed in Ter119+ bone marrow cells isolated from phlebotomized wildtype or Polg mutant mice
Project description:A large group of mitochondrial disorders, ranging from early-onset pediatric encephalopathic syndromes to late-onset myopathy with chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia (CPEOs), are inherited as Mendelian disorders characterized by disturbed mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) maintenance. These errors of nuclear-mitochondrial intergenomic signaling may lead to mtDNA depletion, accumulation of mtDNA multiple deletions, or both, in critical tissues. The genes involved encode proteins belonging to at least three pathways: mtDNA replication and maintenance, nucleotide supply and balance, and mitochondrial dynamics and quality control. In most cases, allelic mutations in these genes may lead to profoundly different phenotypes associated with either mtDNA depletion or multiple deletions.
Project description:Mutations in genes encoding components of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) replication machinery cause mtDNA depletion syndromes (MDSs), which associate ocular features with severe neurological syndromes. Here, we identified heterozygous missense mutations in single-strand binding protein 1 (SSBP1) in 5 unrelated families, leading to the R38Q and R107Q amino acid changes in the mitochondrial single-stranded DNA-binding protein, a crucial protein involved in mtDNA replication. All affected individuals presented optic atrophy, associated with foveopathy in half of the cases. To uncover the structural features underlying SSBP1 mutations, we determined a revised SSBP1 crystal structure. Structural analysis suggested that both mutations affect dimer interactions and presumably distort the DNA-binding region. Using patient fibroblasts, we validated that the R38Q variant destabilizes SSBP1 dimer/tetramer formation, affects mtDNA replication, and induces mtDNA depletion. Our study showing that mutations in SSBP1 cause a form of dominant optic atrophy frequently accompanied with foveopathy brings insights into mtDNA maintenance disorders.
Project description:Mutations in nuclear genes involved in the maintenance of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) are associated with an extensive spectrum of clinical phenotypes, manifesting as either mtDNA depletion syndromes or multiple mtDNA deletion disorders.(1.)
Project description:Deletions in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) are an important cause of human disease and their accumulation has been implicated in the ageing process. As mtDNA is a high copy number genome, the coexistence of deleted and wild-type mtDNA molecules within a single cell defines heteroplasmy. When deleted mtDNA molecules, driven by intracellular clonal expansion, reach a sufficiently high level, a biochemical defect emerges, contributing to the appearance and progression of clinical pathology. Consequently, it is relevant to determine the heteroplasmy levels within individual cells to understand the mechanism of clonal expansion. Heteroplasmy is reflected in a mosaic distribution of cytochrome c oxidase (COX)-deficient muscle fibers. We applied droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) to single muscle fibers collected by laser-capture microdissection (LCM) from muscle biopsies of patients with different paradigms of mitochondrial disease, characterized by the accumulation of single or multiple mtDNA deletions. By combining these two sensitive approaches, ddPCR and LCM, we document different models of clonal expansion in patients with single and multiple mtDNA deletions, implicating different mechanisms and time points for the development of COX deficiency in these molecularly distinct mitochondrial cytopathies.
Project description:Autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia-deafness and narcolepsy (ADCA-DN) and Hereditary sensory neuropathy with dementia and hearing loss (HSN1E) are two rare, overlapping neurodegenerative syndromes that have been recently linked to allelic dominant pathogenic mutations in the DNMT1 gene, coding for DNA (cytosine-5)-methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1). DNMT1 is the enzyme responsible for maintaining the nuclear genome methylation patterns during the DNA replication and repair, thus regulating gene expression. The mutations responsible for ADCA-DN and HSN1E affect the replication foci targeting sequence domain, which regulates DNMT1 binding to chromatin. DNMT1 dysfunction is anticipated to lead to a global alteration of the DNA methylation pattern with predictable downstream consequences on gene expression. Interestingly, ADCA-DN and HSN1E phenotypes share some clinical features typical of mitochondrial diseases, such as optic atrophy, peripheral neuropathy, and deafness, and some biochemical evidence of mitochondrial dysfunction. The recent discovery of a mitochondrial isoform of DNMT1 and its proposed role in methylating mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) suggests that DNMT1 mutations may directly affect mtDNA and mitochondrial physiology. On the basis of this latter finding the link between DNMT1 abnormal activity and mitochondrial dysfunction in ADCA-DN and HSN1E appears intuitive, however, mtDNA methylation remains highly debated. In the last years several groups demonstrated the presence of 5-methylcytosine in mtDNA by different approaches, but, on the other end, the opposite evidence that mtDNA is not methylated has also been published. Since over 1500 mitochondrial proteins are encoded by the nuclear genome, the altered methylation of these genes may well have a critical role in leading to the mitochondrial impairment observed in ADCA-DN and HSN1E. Thus, many open questions still remain unanswered, such as why mtDNA should be methylated, and how this process is regulated and executed?
Project description:MSTO1 encodes a cytosolic mitochondrial fusion protein, misato homolog 1 or MSTO1. While the full genotype-phenotype spectrum remains to be explored, pathogenic variants in MSTO1 have recently been reported in a small number of patients presenting with a phenotype of cerebellar ataxia, congenital muscle involvement with histologic findings ranging from myopathic to dystrophic and pigmentary retinopathy. The proposed underlying pathogenic mechanism of MSTO1-related disease is suggestive of impaired mitochondrial fusion secondary to a loss of function of MSTO1. Disorders of mitochondrial fusion and fission have been shown to also lead to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) depletion, linking them to the mtDNA depletion syndromes, a clinically and genetically diverse class of mitochondrial diseases characterized by a reduction of cellular mtDNA content. However, the consequences of pathogenic variants in MSTO1 on mtDNA maintenance remain poorly understood. We present extensive phenotypic and genetic data from 12 independent families, including 15 new patients harbouring a broad array of bi-allelic MSTO1 pathogenic variants, and we provide functional characterization from seven MSTO1-related disease patient fibroblasts. Bi-allelic loss-of-function variants in MSTO1 manifest clinically with a remarkably consistent phenotype of childhood-onset muscular dystrophy, corticospinal tract dysfunction and early-onset non-progressive cerebellar atrophy. MSTO1 protein was not detectable in the cultured fibroblasts of all seven patients evaluated, suggesting that pathogenic variants result in a loss of protein expression and/or affect protein stability. Consistent with impaired mitochondrial fusion, mitochondrial networks in fibroblasts were found to be fragmented. Furthermore, all fibroblasts were found to have depletion of mtDNA ranging from 30 to 70% along with alterations to mtDNA nucleoids. Our data corroborate the role of MSTO1 as a mitochondrial fusion protein and highlight a previously unrecognized link to mtDNA regulation. As impaired mitochondrial fusion is a recognized cause of mtDNA depletion syndromes, this novel link to mtDNA depletion in patient fibroblasts suggests that MSTO1-deficiency should also be considered a mtDNA depletion syndrome. Thus, we provide mechanistic insight into the disease pathogenesis associated with MSTO1 mutations and further define the clinical spectrum and the natural history of MSTO1-related disease.
Project description:Mitochondria are highly mobile and dynamic organelles that continually fuse and divide. These processes allow mitochondria to exchange contents, including mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Here we examine the functions of mitochondrial fusion in differentiated skeletal muscle through conditional deletion of the mitofusins Mfn1 and Mfn2, mitochondrial GTPases essential for fusion. Loss of the mitofusins causes severe mitochondrial dysfunction, compensatory mitochondrial proliferation, and muscle atrophy. Mutant mice have severe mtDNA depletion in muscle that precedes physiological abnormalities. Moreover, the mitochondrial genomes of the mutant muscle rapidly accumulate point mutations and deletions. In a related experiment, we find that disruption of mitochondrial fusion strongly increases mitochondrial dysfunction and lethality in a mouse model with high levels of mtDNA mutations. With its dual function in safeguarding mtDNA integrity and preserving mtDNA function in the face of mutations, mitochondrial fusion is likely to be a protective factor in human disorders associated with mtDNA mutations.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Maternally inherited complex I deficiencies due to mutations in MT-ND genes represent a heterogeneous group of multisystem mitochondrial disorders (MD) with a unfavourable prognosis. The aim of the study was to characterize the impact of the mutations in MT-ND genes, including the novel m.13091?T?>?C variant, on the course of the disease, and to analyse the activities of respiratory chain complexes, the amount of protein subunits, and the mitochondrial energy-generating system (MEGS) in available muscle biopsies and cultivated fibroblasts. METHODS:The respiratory chain complex activities were measured by spectrophotometry, MEGS were analysed using radiolabelled substrates, and protein amount by SDS-PAGE or BN-PAGE in muscle or fibroblasts. RESULTS:In our cohort of 106 unrelated families carrying different mtDNA mutations, we found heteroplasmic mutations in the genes MT-ND1, MT-ND3, and MT-ND5, including the novel variant m.13091?T?>?C, in 13 patients with MD from 12 families. First symptoms developed between early childhood and adolescence and progressed to multisystem disease with a phenotype of Leigh or MELAS syndromes. MRI revealed bilateral symmetrical involvement of deep grey matter typical of Leigh syndrome in 6 children, cortical/white matter stroke-like lesions suggesting MELAS syndrome in 3 patients, and a combination of cortico-subcortical lesions and grey matter involvement in 4 patients. MEGS indicated mitochondrial disturbances in all available muscle samples, as well as a significantly decreased oxidation of [1-14C] pyruvate in fibroblasts. Spectrophotometric analyses revealed a low activity of complex I and/or complex I?+?III in all muscle samples except one, but the activities in fibroblasts were mostly normal. No correlation was found between complex I activities and mtDNA mutation load, but higher levels of heteroplasmy were generally found in more severely affected patients. CONCLUSIONS:Maternally inherited complex I deficiencies were found in 11% of families with mitochondrial diseases in our region. Six patients manifested with Leigh, three with MELAS. The remaining four patients presented with an overlap between these two syndromes. MEGS, especially the oxidation of [1-14C] pyruvate in fibroblasts might serve as a sensitive indicator of functional impairment due to MT-ND mutations. Early onset of the disease and higher level of mtDNA heteroplasmy were associated with a worse prognosis.
Project description:Mutations in the mitochondrial inner membrane ATPase ATAD3A result in neurological syndromes in humans. In mice, the ubiquitous disruption of Atad3 (also known as Atad3a) was embryonic lethal, but a skeletal muscle-specific conditional knockout (KO) was viable. At birth, ATAD3 muscle KO mice had normal weight, but from 2?months onwards they showed progressive motor-impaired coordination and weakness. Loss of ATAD3 caused early and severe mitochondrial structural abnormalities, mitochondrial proliferation and muscle atrophy. There was dramatic reduction in mitochondrial cristae junctions and overall cristae morphology. The lack of mitochondrial cristae was accompanied by a reduction in high molecular weight mitochondrial contact site and cristae organizing system (MICOS) complexes, and to a lesser extent in OPA1. Moreover, muscles lacking ATAD3 showed altered cholesterol metabolism, accumulation of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) replication intermediates, progressive mtDNA depletion and deletions. Unexpectedly, decreases in the levels of some OXPHOS components occurred after cristae destabilization, indicating that ATAD3 is not crucial for mitochondrial translation, as previously suggested. Our results show a critical early role of ATAD3 in regulating mitochondrial inner membrane structure, leading to secondary defects in mtDNA replication and complex V and cholesterol levels in postmitotic tissue.This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.