Mutations in COA6 cause cytochrome c oxidase deficiency and neonatal hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Hum Mutat. 2015 Jan;36(1):34-8. doi: 10.1002/humu.22715. Epub 2014 Nov 18.


COA6/C1ORF31 is involved in cytochrome c oxidase (complex IV) biogenesis. We present a new pathogenic COA6 variant detected in a patient with neonatal hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and isolated complex IV deficiency. For the first time, clinical details about a COA6-deficient patient are given and patient fibroblasts are functionally characterized: COA6 protein is undetectable and steady-state levels of complex IV and several of its subunits are reduced. The monomeric COX1 assembly intermediate accumulates. Using pulse-chase experiments, we demonstrate an increased turnover of mitochondrial encoded complex IV subunits. Although monomeric complex IV is decreased in patient fibroblasts, the CI/CIII2 /CIVn -supercomplexes remain unaffected. Copper supplementation shows a partial rescue of complex IV deficiency in patient fibroblasts. We conclude that COA6 is required for complex IV subunit stability. Furthermore, the proposed role in the copper delivery pathway to complex IV subunits is substantiated and a therapeutic lead for COA6-deficient patients is provided.

Keywords: C1ORF31; COA6; OXPHOS; cardiomyopathy; cytochrome c oxidase.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic / drug therapy
  • Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic / genetics*
  • Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic / pathology
  • Copper / administration & dosage
  • Cytochrome-c Oxidase Deficiency / genetics*
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / genetics*
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / metabolism
  • Female
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mitochondria / metabolism


  • Copper
  • Electron Transport Complex IV