Mutations in the mitochondrial seryl-tRNA synthetase cause hyperuricemia, pulmonary hypertension, renal failure in infancy and alkalosis, HUPRA syndrome

Am J Hum Genet. 2011 Feb 11;88(2):193-200. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2010.12.010. Epub 2011 Jan 20.


An uncharacterized multisystemic mitochondrial cytopathy was diagnosed in two infants from consanguineous Palestinian kindred living in a single village. The most significant clinical findings were tubulopathy (hyperuricemia, metabolic alkalosis), pulmonary hypertension, and progressive renal failure in infancy (HUPRA syndrome). Analysis of the consanguineous pedigree suggested that the causative mutation is in the nuclear DNA. By using genome-wide SNP homozygosity analysis, we identified a homozygous identity-by-descent region on chromosome 19 and detected the pathogenic mutation c.1169A>G (p.Asp390Gly) in SARS2, encoding the mitochondrial seryl-tRNA synthetase. The same homozygous mutation was later identified in a third infant with HUPRA syndrome. The carrier rate of this mutation among inhabitants of this Palestinian isolate was found to be 1:15. The mature enzyme catalyzes the ligation of serine to two mitochondrial tRNA isoacceptors: tRNA(Ser)(AGY) and tRNA(Ser)(UCN). Analysis of amino acylation of the two target tRNAs, extracted from immortalized peripheral lymphocytes derived from two patients, revealed that the p.Asp390Gly mutation significantly impacts on the acylation of tRNA(Ser)(AGY) but probably not that of tRNA(Ser)(UCN). Marked decrease in the expression of the nonacylated transcript and the complete absence of the acylated tRNA(Ser)(AGY) suggest that this mutation leads to significant loss of function and that the uncharged transcripts undergo degradation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Alkalosis, Respiratory / genetics*
  • Alkalosis, Respiratory / pathology
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / genetics*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / pathology
  • Hyperuricemia / genetics*
  • Hyperuricemia / pathology
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mitochondria / enzymology*
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Pedigree
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • RNA, Transfer, Amino Acyl / genetics
  • RNA, Transfer, Amino Acyl / metabolism
  • Renal Insufficiency / genetics*
  • Renal Insufficiency / pathology
  • Serine-tRNA Ligase / genetics*
  • Syndrome


  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • RNA, Transfer, Amino Acyl
  • Serine-tRNA Ligase