The most common mitochondrial disorder in children is Leigh syndrome, which is a progressive and genetically heterogeneous neurodegenerative disorder caused by mutations in nuclear genes or mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). In the present study, a novel and robust method of complete mtDNA sequencing, which allows amplification of the whole mitochondrial genome, was tested. Complete mtDNA sequencing was performed in a cohort of patients with suspected mitochondrial mutations. Patients from Latvia and Lithuania (n = 92 and n = 57, respectively) referred by clinical geneticists were included. The de novo point mutations m.9185T>C and m.13513G>A, respectively, were detected in two patients with lactic acidosis and neurodegenerative lesions. In one patient with neurodegenerative lesions, the mutation m.9185T>C was identified. These mutations are associated with Leigh syndrome. The present data suggest that full-length mtDNA sequencing is recommended as a supplement to nuclear gene testing and enzymatic assays to enhance mitochondrial disease diagnostics.
Keywords: Leigh syndrome; brain MRI; mitochondrial DNA.