Two Chinese siblings of combined oxidative phosphorylation deficiency 14 caused by compound heterozygous variants in FARS2

Eur J Med Res. 2022 Sep 26;27(1):184. doi: 10.1186/s40001-022-00808-7.


Background: As a rare mitochondrial disease, combined oxidative phosphorylation deficiency 14 (COXPD14) is caused by biallelic variants in the phenylalanyl-tRNA synthetase 2, mitochondrial gene (FARS2) with clinical features of developmental delay, an elevated lactate level, early-onset encephalopathy, liver failure, and hypotonia. The objectives of this study were to analyze the clinical and molecular features of two Chinese siblings affected with COXPD14, and to review relevant literature.

Methods: Mutation screening was performed by whole exome sequencing (WES) in combination with Sanger sequencing validation to identify the disease-causing variants of the two patients.

Results: The two siblings presented with severe clinical features and both progressed aggressively and failed to survive after treatment abandonment. We identified two compound heterozygous FARS2 variants c.925G>A p.Gly309Ser and c.943G>C p.Gly315Arg in this proband, which were inherited from the unaffected father and mother, respectively. In addition, Sanger sequencing confirmed that the elder affected sister carried the same compound heterozygous variants. The c.925G>A p.Gly309Ser variant is known and commonly reported in COXPD14 patients, while c.943G>C p.Gly315Arg is a novel one. Neither of the variants was found in 100 Chinese healthy controls. Both variants were classified as "deleterious" and were located in the highly conserved regions of the protein. The above results suggested that the two variants were likely causative in this COXPD14-affected pedigree.

Conclusions: Our study expands the mutation spectrum of FARS2 and highlights the importance of genetic testing in the diagnosis of diseases with a wide variety of phenotypes, especially in the differential diagnosis of diseases.

Keywords: Combined oxidative phosphorylation deficiency 14; Compound heterozygous variants; FARS2; Whole exome sequencing.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • China
  • Humans
  • Lactates
  • Mitochondrial Diseases* / genetics
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / genetics
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Pedigree
  • Phenylalanine-tRNA Ligase* / genetics
  • Siblings


  • Lactates
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • FARS2 protein, human
  • Phenylalanine-tRNA Ligase