Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON) was a common maternally inherited disease causing severe and permanent visual loss which mostly affects males. Three primary mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations, ND1 3460G>A, ND4 11778G>A and ND6 14484T>C, which affect genes encoding respiratory chain complex I subunit, are responsible for >90% of LHON cases worldwide. Families with maternally transmitted LHON show incomplete penetrance with a male preponderance for visual loss, suggesting the involvement of secondary mtDNA variants and other modifying factors. In particular, variants in mitochondrial tRNA (mt-tRNA) are important risk factors for LHON. These variants decreased the tRNA stability, prevent tRNA aminoacylation, influence the post-transcriptionalmodification and affect tRNA maturation. Failure of mt-tRNA metabolism subsequently impairs protein synthesis and expression, folding, and function of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) enzymes, which aggravates mitochondrial dysfunction that is involved in the progression and pathogenesis of LHON. This review summarizes the recent advances in our understanding of mt-tRNA biology and function, as well as the reported LHON-related mt-tRNA second variants; it also discusses the molecular mechanism behind the involvement of these variants in LHON.
Keywords: tRNA metabolism; LHON; OXPHOS; Variants; mt-tRNA.
©2021 Ding et al.