Fe/S protein assembly gene IBA57 mutation causes hereditary spastic paraplegia

Neurology. 2015 Feb 17;84(7):659-67. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000001270. Epub 2015 Jan 21.


Objective: To present the clinical, molecular, and cell biological findings in a family with an autosomal recessive form of hereditary spastic paraplegia characterized by a combination of spastic paraplegia, optic atrophy, and peripheral neuropathy (SPOAN).

Methods: We used a combination of whole-genome linkage analysis and exome sequencing to map the disease locus and to identify the responsible gene. To analyze the physiologic consequences of the disease, we used biochemical and cell biological methods.

Results: Ten members of a highly consanguineous family manifested a childhood-onset SPOAN-like phenotype with slow progression into late adulthood. We mapped this disorder to a locus on chromosome 1q and identified a homozygous donor splice-site mutation in the IBA57 gene, previously implicated in 2 infants with lethal perinatal encephalomyopathy. This gene encodes the mitochondrial iron-sulfur (Fe/S) protein assembly factor IBA57. In addition to a severely decreased amount of normal IBA57 messenger RNA, a patient's cells expressed an aberrantly spliced messenger RNA with a premature stop codon. Lymphoblasts contained 10-fold-lower levels of wild-type, but no signs of truncated IBA57 protein. The decrease in functional IBA57 resulted in reduced levels and activities of several mitochondrial [4Fe-4S] proteins, including complexes I and II, while mitochondrial [2Fe-2S] proteins remained normal.

Conclusions: Our findings reinforce the suggested specific function of IBA57 in mitochondrial [4Fe-4S] protein maturation and provide additional evidence for its role in human disease. The less decreased IBA57 protein level in this family explains phenotypic differences compared with the previously described lethal encephalomyopathy with no functional IBA57.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics*
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Family
  • Female
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / metabolism
  • Mutation*
  • Pedigree
  • Phenotype
  • RNA Splicing / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Spastic Paraplegia, Hereditary / genetics*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • IBA57 protein, human
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger