Functional analysis of lymphoblast and cybrid mitochondria containing the 3460, 11778, or 14484 leber's hereditary optic neuropathy mitochondrial DNA mutation

Michael D. Brown, Ian A. Trounce, Albert S. Jun, Jon C. Allen, Douglas C. Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) is a form of blindness caused by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations in complex I genes. We report an extensive biochemical analysis of the mitochondrial defects in lymphoblasts and transmitochondrial cybrids harboring the three most common LHON mutations: 3460A, 11778A, and 14484C. Respiration studies revealed that the 3460A mutation reduced the maximal respiration rate 20-28%, the 11778A mutation 30-36%, and the 14484C mutation 10-15%. The respiration defects of the 3460A and 11778A mutations transferred in cybrid experiments linking these defects to the mtDNA. Complex I enzymatic assays revealed that the 3460A mutation resulted in a 79% reduction in specific activity and the 11778A mutation resulted in a 20% reduction, while the 14484C mutation did not affect the complex I activity. The enzyme defect of the 3460A mutation transferred with the mtDNA in cybrids. Overall, these data support the conclusion that the 3460A and 11778A mutants result in complex I defects and that the 14484C mutation causes a much milder biochemical defect. These studies represent the first direct comparison of oxidative phosphorylation defects among all of the primary LHON mtDNA mutations, thus permitting insight into the underlying pathophysiological mechanism of the disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39831-39836
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume275
Issue number51
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 22 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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