Mitochondrial tRNALeu(UUR) C3275T, tRNAGln T4363C and tRNALys A8343G mutations may be associated with PCOS and metabolic syndrome

Gene. 2018 Feb 5:642:299-306. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2017.11.049. Epub 2017 Nov 16.


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a very prevalent endocrine disease affecting reproductive women. Clinically, patients with this disorder are more vulnerable to develop type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), cardiovascular events, as well as metabolic syndrome (MetS). To date, the molecular mechanism underlying PCOS remains largely unknown. Previously, we showed that mitochondrial dysfunction caused by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutation was an important cause for PCOS. In the current study, we described the clinical and biochemical features of a three-generation pedigree with maternally transmitted MetS, combined with PCOS. A total of three matrilineal relatives exhibited MetS including obesity, high triglyceride (TG) and Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels, and hypertension. Whereas one patient from the third generation manifestated PCOS. Mutational analysis of the whole mitochondrial genes from the affected individuals identified a set of genetic variations belonging to East Asia haplogroup B4b1c. Among these variants, the homoplasmic C3275T mutation disrupted a highly evolutionary conserved base-pairing (28A-46C) on the variable region of tRNALeu(UUR), whereas the T4363C mutation created a new base-pairing (31T-37A) in the anticodon stem of tRNAGln, furthermore, the A8343G mutation occurred at the very conserved position of tRNALys and may result the failure in mitochondrial tRNAs (mt-tRNAs) metabolism. Biochemical analysis revealed the deficiency in mitochondrial functions including lower levels of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), ATP production and mtDNA copy number, while a significantly increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation was observed in polymononuclear leukocytes (PMNs) from the individuals carrying these mt-tRNA mutations, suggesting that these mutations may cause mitochondrial dysfunction that was responsible for the clinical phenotypes. Taken together, our data indicated that mt-tRNA mutations were associated with MetS and PCOS in this family, which shaded additional light into the pathophysiology of PCOS that were manifestated by mitochondrial dysfunction.

Keywords: MetS; Mitochondrial dysfunction; PCOS; mt-tRNA mutations.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asian People / genetics
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Female
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Syndrome / genetics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitochondria / genetics
  • Pedigree
  • Point Mutation*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / genetics*
  • RNA, Transfer, Gln / genetics*
  • RNA, Transfer, Leu / genetics*
  • RNA, Transfer, Lys / genetics*


  • RNA, Transfer, Gln
  • RNA, Transfer, Leu
  • RNA, Transfer, Lys