Journal Article

Disorders of mitochondrial protein synthesis

Howard T. Jacobs

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 12, issue suppl_2, pages R293-R301
Published in print October 2003 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online October 2003 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddg285
Disorders of mitochondrial protein synthesis

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Mitochondrial tRNA gene mutations, including heteroplasmic deletions that eliminate one or more tRNAs, as well as point mutations that may be either hetero- or homoplasmic, are associated with a wide spectrum of human diseases. These range from rare syndromic disorders to cases of commoner conditions such as sensorineural deafness or cardiomyopathy. The disease spectrum of mutations in a given gene, or even a single mutation, may vary, but some patterns are evident, for example the prominence of cardiomyopathy resulting from tRNAIle defects, or of MERFF-like disease from tRNALys defects. Molecular studies of many laboratories have reached a consensus on molecular mechanisms associated with these mutations. Although precise details vary, loss of translational function of the affected tRNA(s) seems to be the final outcome, whether by impaired pre-tRNA processing, half-life, base-modification or aminoacylation. However, a mechanistic understanding of the consequences of this for the assembly and function of the mitochondrial OXPHOS complexes and for the physiological functions of the affected tissues is still a distant prospect. This review presents some views of possible downstream consequences of specific tRNA deficiencies.

Journal Article.  6911 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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