Severe infantile leigh syndrome associated with a rare mitochondrial ND6 mutation, m.14487T>C

Am J Med Genet A. 2013 Aug;161A(8):2020-3. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.36000. Epub 2013 Jun 27.


We describe a case of severe infantile-onset complex I deficiency in association with an apparent de novo near-homoplasmic mutation (m.14487T>C) in the mitochondrial ND6 gene, which was previously associated with Leigh syndrome and other neurological disorders. The mutation was near-homoplasmic in muscle by NextGen sequencing (99.4% mutant), homoplasmic in muscle by Sanger sequencing, and it was associated with a severe complex I deficiency in both muscle and fibroblasts. This supports previous data regarding Leigh syndrome being on the severe end of a phenotypic spectrum including progressive myoclonic epilepsy, childhood-onset dystonia, bilateral striatal necrosis, and optic atrophy, depending on the proportion of mutant heteroplasmy. While the mother in all previously reported cases was heteroplasmic, the mother and brother of this case were homoplasmic for the wild-type, m.14487T. Importantly, the current data demonstrate the potential for cases of mutations that were previously reported to be homoplasmic by Sanger sequencing to be less homoplasmic by NextGen sequencing. This case underscores the importance of considering mitochondrial DNA mutations in families with a negative family history, even in offspring of those who have tested negative for a specific mtDNA mutation.

Keywords: Leigh disease; deep sequencing; homoplasmy; mitochondrial disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Leigh Disease / genetics*
  • Male
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • NADH Dehydrogenase / genetics*
  • Phenotype


  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • MT-ND6 protein, human
  • NADH Dehydrogenase