Lee JS, Yoo T, Lee M, Lee Y, Jeon E, Kim SY, Lim BC, Kim KJ, Choi M, Chae JH.Genetic heterogeneity in Leigh syndrome: Highlighting treatable and novel genetic causes. Clin Genet. 2020 Feb 5. doi: 10.1111/cge.13713. [Epub ahead of print]
Leigh syndrome (LS), the most common childhood mitochondrial disorder, has characteristic clinical and neuroradiologic features. Mutations in more than 75 genes have been identified in both the mitochondrial and nuclear genome, implicating a high degree of genetic heterogeneity in LS. To profile these genetic signatures and understand the pathophysiology of LS, we recruited 64 patients from 62 families who were clinically diagnosed with LS at Seoul National University Children's Hospital. Mitochondrial genetic analysis followed by whole-exome sequencing was performed on 61 patients. Pathogenic variants in mitochondrial DNA were identified in 18 families and nuclear DNA mutations in 22. The following 17 genes analyzed in 40 families were found to have genetic complexity: MTATP6, MTND1, MTND3, MTND5, MTND6, MTTK, NDUFS1, NDUFV1, NDUFAF6, SURF1, SLC19A3, ECHS1, PNPT1, IARS2, NARS2, VPS13D, and NAXE. Two treatable cases had biotin-thiamine responsive basal ganglia disease, and another three were identified as having defects in the newly recognized genes (VPS13D or NAXE). Variants in the nuclear genes that encoded mitochondrial aminoacyl tRNA synthetases were present in 27.3% of cases. Our findings expand the genetic and clinical spectrum of LS, showing genetic heterogeneity and highlighting treatable cases and those with novel genetic causes.