The molecular genetics of mitochondrial cytopathies: the Melbourne experience.

D. Thyagarajan, E. Byrne, X. Dennet, S. Marzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Mitochondrial DNA is a unique, maternally inherited molecule encoding several subunits of the respiratory enzyme chain. In several mitochondrial cytopathies mutations have been described in this genome viz. large-scale heteroplasmic deletions in syndromes with progressive external ophthalmoplegia and point mutations in MELAS and MERRF encephalomyopathies. We here report Southern blot analyses in the cases of CPEO we have seen and describe the search for point mutations in MELAS and MERRF. Mitochondrial genetic sequencing in normal and disease controls as well as in patients has confirmed the pathogenic nature of a tRNA Lys point mutation in MERRF. We propose a novel mitochondrial structural gene mutation in a MELAS--like encephalomyopathy: an A-->G substitution at position 11084 leading to a Thr to Ala replacement in the ND4 subunit of complex I.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-181
Number of pages10
JournalClinical and Experimental Neurology
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

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