Mitochondrial transfer RNA (mt-tRNA) mutations are the commonest sub-type of mitochondrial (mtDNA) mutations associated with human disease. We report a patient with multisytemic disease characterised by myopathy, spinal ataxia, sensorineural hearing loss, cataract and cognitive impairment in whom a novel m.7539C>T mt-tRNA(Asp) transition was identified. Muscle biopsy revealed extensive histopathological findings including cytochrome c oxidase (COX)-deficient fibres. Pyrosequencing confirmed mtDNA heteroplasmy for the mutation whilst single muscle fibre segregation studies revealed statistically significant higher mutation loads in COX-deficient fibres than in COX-positive fibres. Absence from control databases, hierarchical mt-tRNA mutation segregation within tissues, and occurrence at conserved sequence positions, further confirm this novel mt-tRNA mutation to be pathogenic. To date only three mt-tRNA(Asp) gene mutations have been described with clear evidence of pathogenicity. The novel m.7539C>T mt-tRNA(Asp) gene mutation extends the spectrum of pathogenic mutations in this gene, further supporting the notion that mt-tRNA(Asp) gene mutations are associated with multisystemic disease presentations.
Keywords: Mitochondria; Multisystemic disease; tRNA(Asp).
Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.