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author:("romig, Agnes")
1.  Phenotypic variability and identification of novel YARS2 mutations in YARS2 mitochondrial myopathy, lactic acidosis and sideroblastic anaemia 
Mutations in the mitochondrial tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase (YARS2) gene have previously been identified as a cause of the tissue specific mitochondrial respiratory chain (RC) disorder, Myopathy, Lactic Acidosis, Sideroblastic Anaemia (MLASA). In this study, a cohort of patients with a mitochondrial RC disorder for who anaemia was a feature, were screened for mutations in YARS2.
Twelve patients were screened for YARS2 mutations by Sanger sequencing. Clinical data were compared. Functional assays were performed to confirm the pathogenicity of the novel mutations and to investigate tissue specific effects.
PathogenicYARS2 mutations were identified in three of twelve patients screened. Two patients were found to be homozygous for the previously reported p.Phe52Leu mutation, one severely and one mildly affected. These patients had different mtDNA haplogroups which may contribute to the observed phenotypic variability. A mildly affected patient was a compound heterozygote for two novel YARS2 mutations, p.Gly191Asp and p.Arg360X. The p.Gly191Asp mutation resulted in a 38-fold loss in YARS2 catalytic efficiency and the p.Arg360X mutation did not produce a stable protein. The p.Phe52Leu and p.Gly191Asp/p.Arg360X mutations resulted in more severe RC deficiency of complexes I, III and IV in muscle cells compared to fibroblasts, but had relatively normal YARS2 protein levels. The muscle-specific RC deficiency can be related to the increased requirement for RC complexes in muscle. There was also a failure of mtDNA proliferation upon myogenesis in patient cells which may compound the RC defect. Patient muscle had increased levels of PGC1-α and TFAM suggesting mitochondrial biogenesis was activated as a potential compensatory mechanism.
In this study we have identified novel YARS2 mutations and noted marked phenotypic variability among YARS2 MLASA patients, with phenotypes ranging from mild to lethal, and we suggest that the background mtDNA haplotype may be contributing to the phenotypic variability. These findings have implications for diagnosis and prognostication of the MLASA and related phenotypes.
PMCID: PMC3878580  PMID: 24344687
Mitochondrial respiratory chain; Myopathy with lactic acidosis and sideroblastic anemia; Aminoacyl tRNA-synthetase; Mitochondrial myopathies; Muscle diseases; Lactic acidaemia; Inborn error of metabolism; Mutation
3.  Individuals with mutations in XPNPEP3, which encodes a mitochondrial protein, develop a nephronophthisis-like nephropathy  
The autosomal recessive kidney disease nephronophthisis (NPHP) constitutes the most frequent genetic cause of terminal renal failure in the first 3 decades of life. Ten causative genes (NPHP1–NPHP9 and NPHP11), whose products localize to the primary cilia-centrosome complex, support the unifying concept that cystic kidney diseases are “ciliopathies”. Using genome-wide homozygosity mapping, we report here what we believe to be a new locus (NPHP-like 1 [NPHPL1]) for an NPHP-like nephropathy. In 2 families with an NPHP-like phenotype, we detected homozygous frameshift and splice-site mutations, respectively, in the X-prolyl aminopeptidase 3 (XPNPEP3) gene. In contrast to all known NPHP proteins, XPNPEP3 localizes to mitochondria of renal cells. However, in vivo analyses also revealed a likely cilia-related function; suppression of zebrafish xpnpep3 phenocopied the developmental phenotypes of ciliopathy morphants, and this effect was rescued by human XPNPEP3 that was devoid of a mitochondrial localization signal. Consistent with a role for XPNPEP3 in ciliary function, several ciliary cystogenic proteins were found to be XPNPEP3 substrates, for which resistance to N-terminal proline cleavage resulted in attenuated protein function in vivo in zebrafish. Our data highlight an emerging link between mitochondria and ciliary dysfunction, and suggest that further understanding the enzymatic activity and substrates of XPNPEP3 will illuminate novel cystogenic pathways.
PMCID: PMC2827951  PMID: 20179356
4.  New evidence of a mitochondrial genetic background paradox: Impact of the J haplogroup on the A3243G mutation 
BMC Medical Genetics  2008;9:41.
The A3243G mutation in the tRNALeu gene (UUR), is one of the most common pathogenic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations in France, and is associated with highly variable and heterogeneous disease phenotypes. To define the relationships between the A3243G mutation and mtDNA backgrounds, we determined the haplogroup affiliation of 142 unrelated French patients – diagnosed as carriers of the A3243G mutation – by control-region sequencing and RFLP survey of their mtDNAs.
The analysis revealed 111 different haplotypes encompassing all European haplogroups, indicating that the 3243 site might be a mutational hot spot. However, contrary to previous findings, we observed a statistically significant underepresentation of the A3243G mutation on haplogroup J in patients (p = 0.01, OR = 0.26, C.I. 95%: 0.08–0.83), suggesting that might be due to a strong negative selection at the embryo or germ line stages.
Thus, our study supports the existence of mutational hotspot on mtDNA and a "haplogroup J paradox," a haplogroup that may increase the expression of mtDNA pathogenic mutations, but also be beneficial in certain environmental contexts.
PMCID: PMC2409300  PMID: 18462486

Results 1-4 (4)