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Mutations in human lipoyltransferase gene LIPT1 cause a Leigh disease with secondary deficiency for pyruvate and alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase.

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Synthesis and apoenzyme attachment of lipoic acid have emerged as a new complex metabolic pathway. Mutations in several genes involved in the lipoic acid de novo pathway have recently been described, but no mutation was found so far in genes involved in the specific process of attachment of lipoic acid to apoenzymes pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDHc), alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase (alpha-KGDHc) and branched chain alpha-keto acid dehydrogenase (BCKDHc) complexes. METHODS: Exome capture was performed in a boy who developed Leigh disease following a gastroenteritis and had combined PDH and alpha-KGDH deficiency with a unique amino acid profile that partly ressembled E3 subunit (dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase / DLD) deficiency. Functional studies on patient fibroblasts were performed. Lipoic acid administration was tested on the LIPT1 ortholog lip3 deletion strain yeast and on patient fibroblasts. RESULTS: Exome sequencing identified two heterozygous mutations (c.875C > G and c.535A > G) in the LIPT1 gene that encodes a mitochondrial lipoyltransferase which is thought to catalyze the attachment of lipoic acid on PDHc, alpha-KGDHc, and BCKDHc. Anti-lipoic acid antibodies revealed absent expression of PDH E2, BCKDH E2 and alpha-KGDH E2 subunits. Accordingly, the production of 14CO2 by patient fibroblasts after incubation with 14Cglucose, 14Cbutyrate or 14C 3OHbutyrate was very low compared to controls. cDNA transfection experiments on patient fibroblasts rescued PDH and alpha-KGDH activities and normalized the levels of pyruvate and 3OHbutyrate in cell supernatants. The yeast lip3 deletion strain showed improved growth on ethanol medium after lipoic acid supplementation and incubation of the patient fibroblasts with lipoic acid decreased lactate level in cell supernatants. CONCLUSION: We report here a putative case of impaired free lipoic acid attachment due to LIPT1 mutations as a cause of PDH and alpha-KGDH deficiencies. Our study calls for renewed efforts to understand the mechanisms of pathology of lipoic acid-related defects and their heterogeneous biochemical expression, in order to devise efficient diagnostic procedures and possible therapies.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - 1:07:53 PM
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Yohan Soreze, Audrey Boutron, Florence Habarou, Christine Barnerias, Luc Nonnenmacher, et al.. Mutations in human lipoyltransferase gene LIPT1 cause a Leigh disease with secondary deficiency for pyruvate and alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase.. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, BioMed Central, 2013, 8 (1), pp.192. ⟨10.1186/1750-1172-8-192⟩. ⟨inserm-00938361⟩

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