The 1555A→G mutation in mitochondrial 12S rRNA has been associated with aminoglycoside-induced and non-syndromic deafness in many individuals worldwide. Mitochondrial genetic modifiers are proposed to influence the phenotypic expression of m.1555A→G mutation. Here, we report that a deafness-susceptibility allele (m.4317A→G) in the tRNAIle gene modulates the phenotype expression of m.1555A→G mutation. Strikingly, a large Han Chinese pedigree carrying both m.4317A→G and m.1555A→G mutations exhibited much higher penetrance of deafness than those carrying only the m.1555A→G mutation. The m.4317A→G mutation affected a highly conserved adenine at position 59 in the T-loop of tRNAIle We therefore hypothesized that the m.4317A→G mutation alters both structure and function of tRNAIle Using lymphoblastoid cell lines derived from members of Chinese families (three carrying both m.1555A→G and m.4317A→G mutations, three harboring only m.1555A→G mutation, and three controls lacking these mutations), we found that the cell lines bearing both m.4317A→G and m.1555A→G mutations exhibited more severe mitochondrial dysfunctions than those carrying only the m.1555A→G mutation. We also found that the m.4317A→G mutation perturbed the conformation, stability, and aminoacylation efficiency of tRNAIle These m.4317A→G mutation-induced alterations in tRNAIle structure and function aggravated the defective mitochondrial translation and respiratory phenotypes associated with the m.1555A→G mutation. Furthermore, mutant cell lines bearing both m.4317A→G and m.1555A→G mutations exhibited greater reductions in the mitochondrial ATP levels and membrane potentials and increasing production of reactive oxygen species than those carrying only the m.1555A→G mutation. Our findings provide new insights into the pathophysiology of maternally inherited deafness arising from the synergy between mitochondrial 12S rRNA and tRNA mutations.
Keywords: ATP; genetics; hearing; maternal inheritance; mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA); mitochondrial disease; modifier factors; mutation; pathophysiology; phenotypic expression; reactive oxygen species (ROS); respiratory chain; ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) (ribosomal RNA); transfer RNA (tRNA); translation.
© 2018 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.