Expanding the molecular and phenotypic spectrum of truncating MT-ATP6 mutations

Neurol Genet. 2020 Jan 7;6(1):e381. doi: 10.1212/NXG.0000000000000381. eCollection 2020 Feb.


Objective: To describe the clinical and functional consequences of 1 novel and 1 previously reported truncating MT-ATP6 mutation.

Methods: Three unrelated probands with mitochondrial encephalomyopathy harboring truncating MT-ATP6 mutations are reported. Transmitochondrial cybrid cell studies were used to confirm pathogenicity of 1 novel variant, and the effects of all 3 mutations on ATPase 6 and complex V structure and function were investigated.

Results: Patient 1 presented with adult-onset cerebellar ataxia, chronic kidney disease, and diabetes, whereas patient 2 had myoclonic epilepsy and cerebellar ataxia; both harbored the novel m.8782G>A; p.(Gly86*) mutation. Patient 3 exhibited cognitive decline, with posterior white matter abnormalities on brain MRI, and severely impaired renal function requiring transplantation. The m.8618dup; p.(Thr33Hisfs*32) mutation, previously associated with neurogenic muscle weakness, ataxia, and retinitis pigmentosa, was identified. All 3 probands demonstrated a broad range of heteroplasmy across different tissue types. Blue-native gel electrophoresis of cultured fibroblasts and skeletal muscle tissue confirmed multiple bands, suggestive of impaired complex V assembly. Microscale oxygraphy showed reduced basal respiration and adenosine triphosphate synthesis, while reactive oxygen species generation was increased. Transmitochondrial cybrid cell lines studies confirmed the deleterious effects of the novel m.8782 G>A; p.(Gly86*) mutation.

Conclusions: We expand the clinical and molecular spectrum of MT-ATP6-related mitochondrial disorders to include leukodystrophy, renal disease, and myoclonic epilepsy with cerebellar ataxia. Truncating MT-ATP6 mutations may exhibit highly variable mutant levels across different tissue types, an important consideration during genetic counseling.