MELAS- and Kearns-Sayre-type co-mutation [corrected] with myopathy and autoimmune polyendocrinopathy

Ann Neurol. 1996 Jun;39(6):761-6. doi: 10.1002/ana.410390612.


A 35-year-old woman with features of Kearns-Sayre syndrome consisting of progressive ptosis, ophthalmoparesis, mitochondrial myopathy, and pigmentary retinopathy also had autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type 11 (Addison's disease, autoimmune insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, and primary ovarian failure). There was no history of similarly affected relatives. Analysis of muscle mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) revealed a 2,532-bp deletion of the type seen in Kearns-Sayre syndrome as well as a heteroplasmic A3243G mutation in the tRNA-Leu(UUR) gene of the type seen in mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and strokelike episodes (MELAS). The patient's blood and her mother's blood harbored the A3243G mutation but not the deletion, and the maternal grandmother's blood had neither mutation. In muscle, the species of mtDNA harboring the deletion was exclusively associated with the species harboring the A3243G mutation, suggesting that the point mutation predisposed to the large-scale deletion. The mtDNA species with both mutations accounted for 88% of total muscle mtDNA. Other and as yet unrecognized point mutations in mtDNA might also be associated with, and possible causally related to, large-scale mtDNA deletions.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blotting, Southern
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics
  • Endocrine System Diseases / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gene Deletion
  • Humans
  • Kearns-Sayre Syndrome / genetics*
  • MELAS Syndrome / genetics*
  • Mitochondrial Myopathies / genetics*
  • Phenotype
  • Point Mutation*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Mitochondrial