A novel syndrome affecting multiple mitochondrial functions, located by microcell-mediated transfer to chromosome 2p14-2p13

Am J Hum Genet. 2001 Feb;68(2):386-96. doi: 10.1086/318196. Epub 2001 Jan 10.


We have studied cultured skin fibroblasts from three siblings and one unrelated individual, all of whom had fatal mitochondrial disease manifesting soon after birth. After incubation with 1 mM glucose, these four cell strains exhibited lactate/pyruvate ratios that were six times greater than those of controls. On further analysis, enzymatic activities of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, the 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase complex, NADH cytochrome c reductase, succinate dehydrogenase, and succinate cytochrome c reductase were severely deficient. In two of the siblings the enzymatic activity of cytochrome oxidase was mildly decreased (by approximately 50%). Metabolite analysis performed on urine samples taken from these patients revealed high levels of glycine, leucine, valine, and isoleucine, indicating abnormalities of both the glycine-cleavage system and branched-chain alpha-ketoacid dehydrogenase. In contrast, the activities of fibroblast pyruvate carboxylase, mitochondrial aconitase, and citrate synthase were normal. Immunoblot analysis of selected complex III subunits (core 1, cyt c(1), and iron-sulfur protein) and of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex subunits revealed no visible changes in the levels of all examined proteins, decreasing the possibility that an import and/or assembly factor is involved. To elucidate the underlying molecular defect, analysis of microcell-mediated chromosome-fusion was performed between the present study's fibroblasts (recipients) and a panel of A9 mouse:human hybrids (donors) developed by Cuthbert et al. (1995). Complementation was observed between the recipient cells from both families and the mouse:human hybrid clone carrying human chromosome 2. These results indicate that the underlying defect in our patients is under the control of a nuclear gene, the locus of which is on chromosome 2. A 5-cM interval has been identified as potentially containing the critical region for the unknown gene. This interval maps to region 2p14-2p13.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / blood
  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chromosome Deletion
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 2 / genetics*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / enzymology
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mitochondria / enzymology
  • Mitochondria / pathology*
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Radiation Hybrid Mapping
  • Syndrome


  • Amino Acids