MOLECULAR NEUROGENETICS OF MITOCHONDRIAL DISEASES

Submitted: 10 January 2012
Accepted: 10 January 2012
Published: 10 January 2012
Abstract Views: 748
PDF: 1136
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Mitochondrial diseases are an expanding group of clinically heterogeneous disorders associated with mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations or nuclear gene defects. Whatever the mechanism, the final common step in mitochondrial disorders is a defect of energy production resulting from respiratory chain impairment. The complexity of the biochemical and genetic features of the respiratory chain accounts for the extraordinarily wide range of clinical presentations of mitochondrial disorders. In general, organs with high aerobic demand, such as skeletal muscle, brain and heart, are the most affected. However, virtually any organ or tissue in the body may be affected and the disorders can be multisystemic (mitochondrial encephalomyopathies)or confined to a single tissue. Moreover, mitochondrial diseases can be sporadic or transmitted by mendelian (nuclear genes) or maternal inheritance (mutations in mtDNA). Precise diagnosis is often a challenge; we go through the traditional steps of the diagnostic process, starting with study of inheritance in the family, clinical manifestations in the individual,electrophysiology and imaging techniques at organ level, down to biochemistry, pathology and molecular genetics at tissue, cell and DNA level, respectively. In fact the ultimate goal is to reach, whenever possible, a definitive molecular diagnosis, which can permit rational therapeutic approach and a genetic counseling.

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Cardaioli, E., Da Pozzo, P., Gallus, G., Bianchi, S., D’Eramo, C., Malfatti, E., & Federico, A. (2012). MOLECULAR NEUROGENETICS OF MITOCHONDRIAL DISEASES. Journal of the Siena Academy of Sciences, 1(1), 46–53. https://doi.org/10.4081/jsas.2009.336