Mitochondrial DNA 11777C>A mutation associated Leigh syndrome: case report with a review of the previously described pedigrees

Neuromolecular Med. 2010 Sep;12(3):277-84. doi: 10.1007/s12017-010-8115-9. Epub 2010 May 26.


Here, we present a male infant with clinical signs of typical Leigh syndrome. The first symptom, myoclonus was presented already on the 5th day of life; at 7 months of age limb convulsions and cerebral paresis with hypotonia were developed. At the age of 11 months, MRI verified increased signal intensity in the entire mesencephalon and medulla oblongata; while gray matter proton spectroscopy revealed presence of lactate increase in the brain. At age of 17 months, the child died in cardiorespiratory arrest. After autopsy, the diagnosis of Leigh syndrome was established; using DNA isolated from skeletal muscle and liver, heteroplasmic (>50%) mitochondrial 11777C>A was detected in the fourth subunit of NADH dehydrogenase enzyme (MTND4) encoding gene, which causes Arg --> Ser replacement. The mutation was also detected in low copy number in blood of mother. Albeit this mutation type is well recognized as a typical mtDNA mutation, according the reports available on the PubMed, this mutation was described only in four patients with wide phenotypic variations; here, we reviewed the characteristic clinical features of them. Taken together, the earliest onset of symptoms, the nature of the first presentation signs, the most rapid progression, the character of minor additional symptoms, and the early fatal outcome differentiate the phenotypic variant of the proband presented here from cases reported so far by others.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Leigh Disease / genetics*
  • Leigh Disease / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Pedigree
  • Point Mutation*
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length


  • DNA, Mitochondrial