Mitochondrial aminoacyl tRNA synthetases are essential for organelle protein synthesis. Genetic defects affecting the function of these enzymes may cause pediatric mitochondrial disease. Here, we report on a child with fatal neonatal lactic acidosis and recurrent hypoglycemia caused by mutations in EARS2, encoding mitochondrial glutamyl-tRNA synthetase 2. Brain ultrasound revealed agenesis of corpus callosum. Studies on patient-derived skin fibroblasts showed severely decreased EARS2 protein levels, elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and altered mitochondrial morphology. Our report further illustrates the clinical spectrum of the severe neonatal-onset form of EARS2 mutations. Moreover, in this case the live-cell parameters appeared to be more sensitive to mitochondrial dysfunction compared to standard diagnostics, which indicates the potential relevance of fibroblast studies in children with mitochondrial diseases.
Keywords: LTBL; Mitochondrial morphology; Mitochondrial translation; OXPHOS; ROS.