Mutation of the iron-sulfur cluster assembly gene IBA57 causes severe myopathy and encephalopathy

Hum Mol Genet. 2013 Jul 1;22(13):2590-602. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddt107. Epub 2013 Mar 5.


Two siblings from consanguineous parents died perinatally with a condition characterized by generalized hypotonia, respiratory insufficiency, arthrogryposis, microcephaly, congenital brain malformations and hyperglycinemia. Catalytic activities of the mitochondrial respiratory complexes I and II were deficient in skeletal muscle, a finding suggestive of an inborn error in mitochondrial biogenesis. Homozygosity mapping identified IBA57 located in the largest homozygous region on chromosome 1 as a culprit candidate gene. IBA57 is known to be involved in the biosynthesis of mitochondrial [4Fe-4S] proteins. Sequence analysis of IBA57 revealed the homozygous mutation c.941A > C, p.Gln314Pro. Severely decreased amounts of IBA57 protein were observed in skeletal muscle and cultured skin fibroblasts from the affected subjects. HeLa cells depleted of IBA57 showed biochemical defects resembling the ones found in patient-derived cells, including a decrease in various mitochondrial [4Fe-4S] proteins and in proteins covalently linked to lipoic acid (LA), a cofactor produced by the [4Fe-4S] protein LA synthase. The defects could be complemented by wild-type IBA57 and partially by mutant IBA57. As a result of the mutation, IBA57 protein was excessively degraded, an effect ameliorated by protease inhibitors. Hence, we propose that the mutation leads to partial functional impairment of IBA57, yet the major pathogenic impact is due to its proteolytic degradation below physiologically critical levels. In conclusion, the ensuing lethal complex biochemical phenotype of a novel metabolic syndrome results from multiple Fe/S protein defects caused by a deficiency in the Fe/S cluster assembly protein IBA57.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Diseases / diagnosis
  • Brain Diseases / genetics*
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics*
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Consanguinity
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Electron Transport / genetics
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Muscular Diseases / genetics*
  • Mutation*
  • Pedigree
  • Phenotype
  • Siblings
  • Skin / metabolism


  • Carrier Proteins
  • IBA57 protein, human