Mitochondrial function requires NGLY1

Mitochondrion. 2018 Jan;38:6-16. doi: 10.1016/j.mito.2017.07.008. Epub 2017 Jul 25.


Mitochondrial respiratory chain (RC) diseases and congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDG) share extensive clinical overlap but are considered to have distinct cellular pathophysiology. Here, we demonstrate that an essential physiologic connection exists between cellular N-linked deglycosylation capacity and mitochondrial function. Following identification of altered muscle and liver mitochondrial amount and function in two children with a CDG subtype caused by NGLY1 deficiency, we evaluated mitochondrial physiology in NGLY1 disease human fibroblasts, and in NGLY1-knockout mouse embryonic fibroblasts and C. elegans. Across these distinct evolutionary models of cytosolic NGLY1 deficiency, a consistent disruption of mitochondrial physiology was present involving modestly reduced mitochondrial content with more pronounced impairment of mitochondrial membrane potential, increased mitochondrial matrix oxidant burden, and reduced cellular respiratory capacity. Lentiviral rescue restored NGLY1 expression and mitochondrial physiology in human and mouse fibroblasts, confirming that NGLY1 directly influences mitochondrial function. Overall, cellular deglycosylation capacity is shown to be a significant factor in mitochondrial RC disease pathogenesis across divergent evolutionary species.

Keywords: C. Elegans; Fibroblasts; Glycosylation; Mitochondria; N-glycanase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Cell Respiration
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Child, Preschool
  • Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation / pathology*
  • Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation / physiopathology*
  • Electron Transport
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / pathology*
  • Fibroblasts / physiology*
  • Gene Knockout Techniques
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Membrane Potential, Mitochondrial
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mitochondria / pathology*
  • Mitochondria / physiology*
  • Peptide-N4-(N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminyl) Asparagine Amidase / deficiency*


  • Peptide-N4-(N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminyl) Asparagine Amidase

Supplementary concepts

  • NGLY1 deficiency