Biochemical analysis of the G517V POLG variant reveals wild-type like activity

Mitochondrion. 2011 Nov;11(6):929-34. doi: 10.1016/j.mito.2011.08.003. Epub 2011 Aug 11.


The c.1550g→t mutation in the POLG gene causing the G517V substitution has been reported by many groups to be associated with a variety of mitochondrial diseases, including autosomal dominant and recessive forms of ataxia neuropathy, myopathy and microcephaly, progressive external ophthalmoplegia, diabetes, strokes, hypotonia, and epilepsy. However, the variable disease presentation and age of onset raises suspicion of its pathogenicity. Because of the varied reported associated symptoms and request from physicians to address the consequence of this mutation, we have carried out the biochemical analysis of the purified recombinant human DNA polymerase γ protein harboring the G517V substitution. These analyses revealed that the G517V mutant enzyme retained 80-90% of wild-type DNA polymerase activity, in addition to its functional interaction with the p55 accessory subunit. DNA binding by the mutant was also only slightly lower than the wild-type enzyme. Our data suggest that the G517V mutation by itself in pol γ most likely does not have a role in mitochondrial disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Substitution
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA Polymerase gamma
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / genetics*
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / isolation & purification
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism*
  • Glycine / genetics
  • Humans
  • Mutant Proteins / genetics
  • Mutant Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Mutant Proteins / metabolism
  • Mutation, Missense*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Interaction Mapping
  • Valine / genetics


  • Mutant Proteins
  • DNA
  • DNA Polymerase gamma
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • POLG protein, human
  • Valine
  • Glycine