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

Defective intramitochondrial NADH oxidation in skin fibroblasts from an infant with fatal neonatal lacticacidemia.

A small-for-gestational-age female infant born at term developed severe lactic acidosis and died on day 13 of life. Two previous sibs had also died of overwhelming lactic acidosis in the neonatal period. The lactate-to-pyruvate and 3-hydroxybutyrate-to-acetoacetate ratios were elevated at 136 and 42 to one, respectively. The activities of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex and pyruvate carboxylase in cultured skin fibroblasts were normal but a defect in respiration was indicated by the low rates of conversion of 1-[14C]pyruvate, glutamate, and lactate to 14CO2 in these cells. Skin fibroblast cultures also displayed an elevated lactate-to-pyruvate ratio (72:1) when incubated with glucose as substrate compared to control cell cultures (20:1). When mitochondrial preparations of skin fibroblasts (prepared by digitonin extraction) were tested for their ability to synthesize ATP from a variety of substrates, it was found that those of the patient made adequate amounts of ATP with either succinate or ascorbate/tetramethyl-phenylenediamine as substrate but not with the NAD-linked substrates pyruvate, isocitrate, and palmitoyl carnitine. We propose that this is indicative of a defect in the respiratory chain between NADH and coenzyme Q, for the first time demonstrable in cultured skin fibroblasts.[1]


  1. Defective intramitochondrial NADH oxidation in skin fibroblasts from an infant with fatal neonatal lacticacidemia. Robinson, B.H., McKay, N., Goodyer, P., Lancaster, G. Am. J. Hum. Genet. (1985) [Pubmed]
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