Article number e104879
DNA, Mitochondrial--genetics; Electron Transport Complex I--genetics; Leigh Disease--genetics; Mutation, Missense
Leigh syndrome (LS) is a rare progressive multi-system neurodegenerative disorder, the genetics of which is frequently difficult to resolve. Rapid determination of the genetic etiology of LS in a 5-year-old girl facilitated inclusion in Edison Pharmaceutical’s phase 2B clinical trial of EPI-743. SNP-arrays and high-coverage whole exome sequencing were performed on the proband, both parents and three unaffected siblings. Subsequent multi-tissue targeted high-depth mitochondrial sequencing was performed using custom long-range PCR amplicons. Tissue-specific mutant load was also assessed by qPCR. Complex I was interrogated by spectrophotometric enzyme assays and Western Blot. No putatively causal mutations were identified in nuclear-encoded genes. Analysis of low-coverage off-target mitochondrial reads revealed a previously unreported mitochondrial mutation in the proband in MT-ND3(m.10134C>A, p.Q26K), a Complex I mitochondrial gene previously associated with LS. Targeted investigations demonstrated that this mutation was 1% heteroplasmic in the mother’s blood and homoplasmic in the proband’s blood, fibroblasts, liver and muscle. Enzyme assays revealed decreased Complex I activity. The identification of this novel LS MT-ND3 variant, the genomics of which was accomplished in less than 3.5 weeks, indicates that rapid genomic approaches may prove useful in time-sensitive cases with an unresolved genetic diagnosis.
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Miller, D.K., Menezes, M.J., Simons, C., Riley, L.G., Cooper, S.T., et al. (2014) Rapid Identification of a Novel Complex I MT-ND3 m.10134C>A Mutation in a Leigh Syndrome Patient. PLoS ONE 9(8): e104879.