Matchmaking facilitates the diagnosis of an autosomal-recessive mitochondrial disease caused by biallelic mutation of the tRNA isopentenyltransferase (TRIT1) gene

Hum Mutat. 2017 May;38(5):511-516. doi: 10.1002/humu.23196. Epub 2017 Mar 6.


Deleterious variants in the same gene present in two or more families with overlapping clinical features provide convincing evidence of a disease-gene association; this can be a challenge in the study of ultrarare diseases. To facilitate the identification of additional families, several groups have created "matching" platforms. We describe four individuals from three unrelated families "matched" by GeneMatcher and MatchMakerExchange. Individuals had microcephaly, developmental delay, epilepsy, and recessive mutations in TRIT1. A single homozygous mutation in TRIT1 associated with similar features had previously been reported in one family. The identification of these individuals provides additional evidence to support TRIT1 as the disease-causing gene and interprets the variants as "pathogenic." TRIT1 functions to modify mitochondrial tRNAs and is necessary for protein translation. We show that dysfunctional TRIT1 results in decreased levels of select mitochondrial proteins. Our findings confirm the TRIT1 disease association and advance the phenotypic and molecular understanding of this disorder.

Keywords: TRIT1; brain anomalies; developmental disorders; epilepsy; intellectual disability; tRNA.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases / genetics*
  • Alleles*
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / pathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Facies
  • Female
  • Genes, Recessive*
  • Genetic Testing
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Mitochondrial Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Mitochondrial Diseases / genetics*
  • Mutation*
  • Phenotype


  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases
  • TRIT1 protein, human

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