A novel ISCA2 variant responsible for an early-onset neurodegenerative mitochondrial disorder: a case report of multiple mitochondrial dysfunctions syndrome 4

BMC Neurol. 2019 Jul 6;19(1):153. doi: 10.1186/s12883-019-1387-2.


Background: Multiple Mitochondrial Dysfunctions Syndrome 4 (MMDS4) is manifested as a result of ISCA2 mutations. ISCA2 is a vital component of 4Fe-4S clusters assembly machine. Therefore, in MMDS4 patients, deficient mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes I and II, Aconitase and Succinate dehydrogenase of Kerbs cycle and Lipoic Acid Synthetase in the biosynthesis of lipoic acid are expected.

Case presentations: A 7 months boy in an Iranian consanguineous family with progressive neurodegenerative problems was referred to us. Primarily, general laboratory tests, Abdomen ultrasonography and brain magnetic resonance imaging were performed. In order to find out the genetic problem in this case Whole Exome Sequencing (WES) following by Sanger sequencing was carried out. A novel variant (c.355G > A, p.Ala119Thr) in ISCA2 gene was identified by WES in the proband. Confirmation and segregation in the family for this variant was performed by Sanger sequencing. In-Silico prediction of the ISCA2 secondary structure showed that a helix motif in the Fe-S biosynthesis domain of ISCA2 protein will be eliminated as a result of this variant.

Conclusions: We reported the first patient with ISCA2 variant in Iranian population and the third one in the world reported for ISCA2 gene, so far associated with early-onset mitochondrial neurodegeneration. However further functional studies on this variant or finding it in other patients with similar clinical problems are needed to confirm the pathogenicity of this variant.

Keywords: Energy production; Fe-S clusters; Glycine encephalopathy; ISCA2; Iron-sulfur clusters; Leukoencephalopathy; MMDS4; WES.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Electron Transport Complex I / genetics
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Iran
  • Iron-Sulfur Proteins / genetics*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Mitochondria
  • Mitochondrial Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Mitochondrial Diseases / genetics*
  • Mutation
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / genetics


  • ISCA2 protein, human
  • Iron-Sulfur Proteins
  • Electron Transport Complex I

Supplementary concepts

  • Multiple Mitochondrial Dysfunctions Syndrome