bims-curels Biomed News
on Leigh syndrome
Issue of 2024‒01‒21
seven papers selected by
Cure Mito Foundation

  1. Acta Naturae. 2023 Oct-Dec;15(4):15(4): 4-22
      Mitochondrial diseases (MDs) associated with nuclear gene mutations are part of a large group of inherited diseases caused by the suppression of energy metabolism. These diseases are of particular interest, because nuclear genes encode not only most of the structural proteins of the oxidative phosphorylation system (OXPHOS), but also all the proteins involved in the OXPHOS protein import from the cytoplasm and their assembly in mitochondria. Defects in any of these proteins can lead to functional impairment of the respiratory chain, including dysfunction of complex I that plays a central role in cellular respiration and oxidative phosphorylation, which is the most common cause of mitopathologies. Mitochondrial diseases are characterized by an early age of onset and a progressive course and affect primarily energy-consuming tissues and organs. The treatment of MDs should be initiated as soon as possible, but the diagnosis of mitopathologies is extremely difficult because of their heterogeneity and overlapping clinical features. The molecular pathogenesis of mitochondrial diseases is investigated using animal models: i.e. animals carrying mutations causing MD symptoms in humans. The use of mutant animal models opens new opportunities in the study of genes encoding mitochondrial proteins, as well as the molecular mechanisms of mitopathology development, which is necessary for improving diagnosis and developing approaches to drug therapy. In this review, we present the most recent information on mitochondrial diseases associated with nuclear gene mutations and animal models developed to investigate them.
    Keywords:  animal models; mitochondrial diseases; mutations; nDNA
  2. J Neuromuscul Dis. 2024 Jan 08.
      BACKGROUND: The NADH dehydrogenase [ubiquinone] iron-sulfur protein 6 (NDUFS6) gene encodes for an accessory subunit of the mitochondrial membrane respiratory chain NADH dehydrogenase (complex I). Bi-allelic NDUFS6 variants have been linked with a severe disorder mostly reported as a lethal infantile mitochondrial disease (LMID) or Leigh syndrome (LS).OBJECTIVE: Here, we identified a homozygous variant (c.309 + 5 G >  A) in NDUFS6 in one male patient with axonal neuropathy accompanied by loss of small fibers in skin biopsy and further complicated by optic atrophy and borderline intellectual disability.
    METHODS: To address the pathogenicity of the variant, biochemical studies (mtDNA copy number quantification, ELISA, Proteomic profiling) of patient-derived leukocytes were performed.
    RESULTS: The analyses revealed loss of NDUFS6 protein associated with a decrease of three further mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase subunit/assembly proteins (NDUFA12, NDUFS4 and NDUFV1). Mitochondrial copy number is not altered in leukocytes and the mitochondrial biomarker GDF15 is not significantly changed in serum.
    CONCLUSIONS: Hence, our combined clinical and biochemical data strengthen the concept of NDUFS6 being causative for a very rare form of axonal neuropathy associated with optic atrophy and borderline intellectual disability, and thus expand (i) the molecular genetic landscape of neuropathies and (ii) the clinical spectrum of NDUFS6-associated phenotypes.
    Keywords:  Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease; NDUFS6; axonal neuropathy; white blood cell proteomics
  3. Nat Rev Genet. 2024 Jan 18.
      Genomic technologies, such as targeted, exome and short-read genome sequencing approaches, have revolutionized the care of patients with rare genetic diseases. However, more than half of patients remain without a diagnosis. Emerging approaches from research-based settings such as long-read genome sequencing and optical genome mapping hold promise for improving the identification of disease-causal genetic variants. In addition, new omic technologies that measure the transcriptome, epigenome, proteome or metabolome are showing great potential for variant interpretation. As genetic testing options rapidly expand, the clinical community needs to be mindful of their individual strengths and limitations, as well as remaining challenges, to select the appropriate diagnostic test, correctly interpret results and drive innovation to address insufficiencies. If used effectively - through truly integrative multi-omics approaches and data sharing - the resulting large quantities of data from these established and emerging technologies will greatly improve the interpretative power of genetic and genomic diagnostics for rare diseases.
  4. Vestn Oftalmol. 2023 ;139(6): 166-174
      Patients with Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON) in most cases have one of the three most common mutations: m.11778G>A in the ND4 gene, m.3460G>A in the ND1 gene, or m.14484T>C in the ND6 gene. According to the international Mitomap database, in addition to these three most common mutations, there are 16 other primary mutations that are even more rare. There are nucleotide substitutions that are classified as candidate or conditionally pathogenic mutations. Their involvement in the disease development is not proven due to insufficient research. Moreover, in many publications, the authors describe new primary and potential mitochondrial DNA mutations associated with LHON, which are not yet included in the genetic data bases. This makes it possible to expand the diagnostic spectrum during genetic testing in the future. The advancements in genetic diagnostic technologies allow confirmation of the clinical diagnosis of LHON. The importance of genetic verification of the disease is determined by the existing problem of differential diagnosis of hereditary optic neuropathies with optic neuropathies of a different origin.
    Keywords:  Leber hereditary optic neuropathy; mitochondrial DNA mutations; optic neuropathy; sequencing
  5. Neurol Clin Pract. 2024 Feb;14(1): e200229
      Background and Objectives: Primary mitochondrial myopathies are genetic disorders that primarily affect peripheral skeletal muscles. Patients with primary mitochondrial myopathies often experience muscle weakness, fatigue, and other significant impacts on health-related quality of life. The aim of this noninterventional qualitative study was to collect the most bothersome fatigue-related symptoms and impacts reported by patients with primary mitochondrial myopathies and determine whether the questions included in an existing patient-reported outcome measure, the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale, are relevant and interpretable for this population.Methods: The interviews contained a concept elicitation exercise to understand the most bothersome primary mitochondrial myopathies symptoms and impacts and a cognitive debriefing section to review the questions included in the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale for relevance and interpretability. Transcripts were coded using ATLAS.ti software.
    Results: Interviews were conducted with 16 patients who were aged 16 years and older with a genetically confirmed and clinical diagnosis of symptomatic primary mitochondrial myopathies. Concept elicitation interviews established that while patients with mitochondrial myopathies reported a wide variety of symptoms and impacts, one of the most impactful symptoms discussed was fatigue. Cognitive debriefing interview results confirmed that the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale items were relevant, were interpretable, and largely captured patients' experience with fatigue.
    Discussion: Fatigue was one of the most widely discussed experiences discussed by participants and was considered the most important symptom/impact to treat by most of the participants. The Modified Fatigue Impact Scale could be used in future clinical trials to measure treatment benefit in fatigue-related impacts.
  6. Br J Ophthalmol. 2024 Jan 17. pii: bjo-2023-324628. [Epub ahead of print]
      PURPOSE: To describe the pattern of MRI changes in the pregeniculate visual pathway in Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON).METHOD: This retrospective observational study enrolled 60 patients with LHON between January 2015 and December 2021. The abnormal MRI features seen in the pregeniculate visual pathway were investigated, and then correlated with the causative mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutation, the distribution of the MRI lesions and the duration of vision loss.
    RESULT: The cohort included 48 (80%) males and 53 (88%) had bilateral vision loss. The median age of onset was 17.0 years (range 4.0-58.0). 28 (47%) patients had the m.11778G>A mutation. 34 (57%) patients had T2 hyperintensity (HS) in the pregeniculate visual pathway and 13 (22%) patients with chiasmal enlargement. 20 patients (71%) carrying the m.11778G>A mutation had T2 HS, significantly more than the 14 patients (44%) with T2 HS in the other LHON mutation groups (p=0.039). Furthermore, significantly more patients in the m.11778G>A group (16 patients (57%)) had T2 HS in optic chiasm (OCh)/optic tract (OTr) than the other LHON mutation groups (7 patients (22%), p=0.005). Optic chiasmal enlargement was more common in patients with vision loss duration <3 months compared with those ≥3 months (p=0.028).
    CONCLUSION: T2 HS in the pregeniculate visual pathway is a frequent finding in LHON. Signal changes in the OCh/OTr and chiasmal enlargement, in particular within the first 3 months of visual loss, were more commonly seen in patients carrying the m.11778G>A mtDNA mutation, which may be of diagnostic significance.
    Keywords:  imaging; optic nerve; visual pathway