Tubulointerstitial nephritis associated with a novel mitochondrial point mutation

Kidney Int. 2001 Mar;59(3):846-54. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1755.2001.059003846.x.


Background: Nephropathy caused by mitochondrial disorders is a relatively newly recognized disease. Only a few cases have been reported in the literature, and most of them are proximal tubulopathy-presenting Fanconi syndrome. Here we report on a novel mutation in two familial cases of tubulointerstitial nephropathy associated with concentrating defect.

Methods: Renal biopsy specimens were examined by light microscopy and electron microscopy. Mitochondrial genomic DNA isolated from renal biopsy specimens was amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequenced in its entirety. The DNA sequences were analyzed by (1) comparing with the Anderson et al's mitochondrial sequences; (2) comparing with DNA sequences obtained from 97 human controls, including both healthy individuals and patients with renal diseases; and (3) comparing with the counterparts in 90 different species.

Results: Dismorphic mitochondria with occasional intramitochondrial inclusions were found in the renal tubular epithelial cells. A novel mitochondrial point mutation was identified at the position 608, that is, the distal end of the anticodon stem of the tRNA(Phe) molecule. The A to G substitution at this position was not observed in 97 human controls and was found to be highly conserved in evolution.

Conclusions: We have identified an A608G mutation of mitochondrial genome in two cases whose presentation include tubulointerstitial nephritis and stroke.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence / genetics
  • Biological Evolution
  • Child, Preschool
  • Conserved Sequence / genetics
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Mitochondria / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nephritis, Interstitial / genetics*
  • Nephritis, Interstitial / pathology
  • Point Mutation*
  • RNA, Transfer, Phe / genetics
  • Reference Values


  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • RNA, Transfer, Phe