Genetic, pathogenetic, and phenotypic implications of the mitochondrial A3243G tRNALeu(UUR) mutation

Acta Neurol Scand. 2007 Jul;116(1):1-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.2007.00836.x.


Mitochondrial disorders are frequently caused by mutations in mitochondrial genes and usually present as multisystem disease. One of the most frequent mitochondrial mutations is the A3,243G transition in the tRNALeu(UUR) gene. The phenotypic expression of the mutation is variable and comprises syndromic or non-syndromic mitochondrial disorders. Among the syndromic manifestations the mitochondrial encephalopathy, lactacidosis, and stroke-like episode (MELAS) syndrome is the most frequent. In single cases the A3,243G mutation may be associated with maternally inherited diabetes and deafness syndrome, myoclonic epilepsy and ragged-red fibers (MERRF) syndrome, MELAS/MERRF overlap syndrome, maternally inherited Leigh syndrome, chronic external ophthalmoplegia, or Kearns-Sayre syndrome. The wide phenotypic variability of the mutation is explained by the peculiarities of the mitochondrial DNA, such as heteroplasmy and mitotic segregation, resulting in different mutation loads in different tissues and family members. Moreover, there is some evidence that additional mtDNA sequence variations (polymorphisms, haplotypes) influence the phenotype of the A3,243G mutation. This review aims to give an overview on the actual knowledge about the genetic, pathogenetic, and phenotypic implications of the A3,243G mtDNA mutation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Genes, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Mitochondrial Diseases / diagnosis
  • Mitochondrial Diseases / genetics*
  • Mitochondrial Diseases / therapy
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Phenotype
  • RNA, Transfer, Leu / physiology*


  • RNA, Transfer, Leu