A Novel Mitochondrial Heteroplasmic C13806A Point Mutation Associated with Iranian Friedreich’s Ataxia

Mohammad Mehdi Heidari, Massoud Houshmand, Saman Hosseinkhani, Shahriar Nafissi, Barbara Scheiber-Mojdehkar, Mehri Khatami
  • Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, September 2008, Springer Science + Business Media
  • DOI: 10.1007/s10571-008-9315-9

Novel Heteroplasmic C13806A Mutation in Friedreich’s Ataxia

What is it about?

Friedreich’s ataxia (FRDA) is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder caused by decreased expression of the protein Frataxin. Frataxin deficiency leads to excessive free radical production and dysfunction of chain complexes. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) could be considered a candidate modifier factor for FRDA disease, since mitochondrial oxidative stress is thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of this disease. It prompted us to focus on the mtDNA and monitor the nucleotide changes of genome which are probably the cause of respiratory chain defects and reduced ATP generation. We searched about 46% of the entire mitochondrial genome by temporal temperature gradient gel electrophoresis (TTGE) and DNA fragments showing abnormal banding patterns were sequenced for the identification of exact mutations. In 18 patients, for the first time, we detected 26 mtDNA mutations; of which 5 (19.2%) was novel and 21 (80.8%) have been reported in other diseases. Heteroplasmic C13806A polymorphisms were associated with Iranian FRDA patients (55.5%). Our results showed that NADH dehydrogenase (ND) genes mutations in FRDA samples were higher than normal controls (P < 0.001) and we found statistically significant inverse correlation (r = −0.8) between number of mutation in ND genes and age of onset in FRDA patients. It is possible that mutations in ND genes could constitute a predisposing factor which in combination with environmental risk factors affects age of onset and disease progression.

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Saman Hosseinkhani and Mehri Khatami