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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

An example of Leber hereditary optic neuropathy not involving a mutation in the mitochondrial ND4 gene.

A large Australian family afflicted with Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON) is analyzed at the nucleotide sequence level in this report. Biochemical assays of platelet mitochondria isolated from members of this family have demonstrated a significant decrease in the specific activity of Complex I (NADH-ubiquinol oxidoreductase) of the electron transport chain. It is shown here, however, that neither this biochemical lesion nor the optic neuropathy are due to the mutation at nucleotide position 11,778 of the mitochondrial ND4 gene first identified by Wallace et al. in several LHON pedigrees. Furthermore, extensive DNA sequencing studies reveal no candidate mutations within the mitochondrial ND3 gene, the ND4L/ ND4 genes, or the contiguous tRNA genes. These studies provide the first direct evidence that not all LHON lineages--even those associated with a biochemical defect in mitochondrial respiratory chain Complex I--carry a mutation in the ND4 gene. Members of the Australian LHON family exhibit neurological abnormalities in addition to the well-characterized ophthalmological changes. It is hypothesized that LHON may be a syndrome or set of related diseases in which the clinical abnormalities are a function, at least in part, of the mitochondrial Complex I gene in which the proximate mutation occurs.[1]


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