Molecular modelling of mitofusin 2 for a prediction for Charcot-Marie-Tooth 2A clinical severity

Sci Rep. 2018 Nov 15;8(1):16900. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-35133-9.


Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2A (CMT2A) is an autosomal dominant neuropathy caused by mutations in the mitofusin 2 gene (MFN2). More than 100 MFN2 gene mutations have been reported so far, with majority located within the GTPase domain encoding region. These domain-specific mutations present wide range of symptoms with differences associated with distinct amino acid substitutions in the same position. Due to the lack of conclusive phenotype-genotype correlation the predictive value of genetic results remains still limited. We have explored whether changes in the protein structure caused by MFN2 mutations can help to explain diseases phenotypes. Using a stable protein model, we evaluated the effect of 26 substitutions on the MFN2 structure and predicted the molecular consequences of such alterations. The observed changes were correlated with clinical features associated with a given mutation. Of all tested mutations positive correlation of molecular modelling with the clinical features reached 73%. Our analysis revealed that molecular modelling of mitofusin 2 mutations is a powerful tool, which predicts associated pathogenic impacts and that these correlate with clinical outcomes. This approach may aid an early diagnosis and prediction of symptoms severity in CMT2A patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Binding Sites
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease / diagnosis*
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease / pathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases / chemistry*
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases / metabolism
  • Guanosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydrolysis
  • Infant
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / chemistry*
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / metabolism
  • Models, Molecular*
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Protein Multimerization
  • Protein Subunits / chemistry
  • Protein Subunits / metabolism
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Protein Subunits
  • Guanosine Triphosphate
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases
  • MFN2 protein, human

Supplementary concepts

  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, Type 2A