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      Increased Peripheral Blood Heteroplasmy of the mt.3243A>G Mutation Is Associated with Earlier End-Stage Kidney Disease: A Case Report and Review of the Literature

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          The mitochondrial DNA mutation mt.3243A>G is most commonly associated with maternally inherited diabetes and deafness (MIM 52,000), but it has protean phenotypes including renal disease due to focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. We describe monozygotic twins who both harboured this mutation and developed ESRD. Although otherwise genetically identical, the twins differed in their peripheral blood leucocyte levels of circulating mt.3243A>G heteroplasmy: 20 versus 10%, when assessed at 42 years of age. The twin with the higher heteroplasmy load developed end-stage kidney disease 15 years earlier than her sister. A review of the published literature supports a relationship between heteroplasmy level and the age at the development of the end stage of renal failure in patients with mt.3243A>G-related kidney disease.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Population prevalence of the MELAS A3243G mutation.

          We aimed to establish the population prevalence of the MELAS 3243A>G mtDNA mutation in a large Caucasian-based population (n=2954; 99% Caucasian, 57% women and mean age of 66.4 years). All participants underwent comprehensive clinical evaluation including audiologic testing. We detected the 3243A>G mutation in seven subjects using standard polymerase chain reaction/restriction fragment length polymorphism methods, establishing a population prevalence of 236/100000 (0.24%; 95% CI 0.10-0.49%); much higher than previously reported. All had mild to moderate hearing loss. Our findings indicate that subjects with the 3243A>G mtDNA mutation could be markedly under-recognised in the community.
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            Clinical and pathologic features of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis with mitochondrial tRNALeu(UUR) gene mutation.

            Several families have been described in which an A to G transition mutation at position 3243 (A3243G) of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is associated with focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). However, the prevalence, clinical features, and pathophysiology of FSGS carrying mtDNA mutations are largely undefined. Among 11 biopsy-proven primary FSGS patients of unknown etiology, we examined seven FSGS patients to determine whether any of the clinical and pathological features of FSGS were associated with an A3243G mtDNA mutation. In four subjects in whom the A3243G mtDNA mutation was discovered in blood leukocytes, as well as in urine sediments, we retrospectively reviewed the medical records and re-evaluated the renal biopsy specimen using light and electron microscopy. We further screened the patient's family members for the presence and degree of heteroplasmy for this mtDNA mutation and obtained medical histories that were consistent with mitochondrial cytopathy. The four individuals identified with the A3243G mtDNA mutation were female. Proteinuria was diagnosed in these individuals during a routine annual health checkup in their teenage years. None of the patients showed any symptoms related to mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episode, whereas diabetes mellitus in two of the patients and a hearing disturbance in one patient became manifest within a 3- to 13-year follow-up period. Strict maternal transmitted inheritance was confirmed by pedigree studies in all of these patients. Steroid therapy was ineffective in all four patients. In two of these patients, renal function declined slowly to end-stage renal failure. Histologic examination of biopsy specimens revealed that glomeruli were not hypertrophied, while electron microscopic examination identified severely damaged, multinucleated podocytes containing extremely dysmorphic abnormal mitochondria in all patients. FSGS may belong to the spectrum of renal involvement in A3243G mtDNA mutation in humans. Severely injured podocytic changes containing abnormal mitochondria may explain the pathogenesis of FSGS in association with the A3243G mtDNA mutation.
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              Clinical features and heteroplasmy in blood, urine and saliva in 34 Dutch families carrying the m.3243A > G mutation

              The m.3243A > G mutation has become known as the MELAS mutation. However, many other clinical phenotypes associated with this mutation have been described, most frequently being maternally inherited diabetes and deafness (MIDD). The m.3243A > G mutation, can be detected in virtually all tissues, however heteroplasmy differs between samples. Recent reports indicate, a preference to perform mutation analysis in urinary epithelial cells (UEC). To test this, and to study a correlation between the mutational load in different tissues with two mitochondrial scoring systems (NMDAS and NPMDS) we investigated 34 families carrying the m.3243A > G mutation. Heteroplasmy was determined in three non-invasively collected samples, namely leucocytes, UEC and buccal mucosa. We included 127 patients, of which 82 carried the m.3243A > G mutation. None of the children (n = 11) had specific complaints. In adults (n = 71), a median NMDAS score of 15 (IQR 10-24) was found. The most prevalent symptoms were hearing loss(48%), gastro-intestinal problems(42%), exercise intolerance(38%) and glucose intolerance(37%). Ten patients had neurologic involvement. Buccal mucosa had the best correlation with the NMDAS in all adults (r = 0.437,p  G mutation causes a wide variety of signs and symptoms, MIDD being far more prevalent than MELAS. Looking at the characteristics of the three non-invasively available tissues for testing heteroplasmy we confirm that UEC are the preferred sample to test.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                July 2020
                20 May 2020
                : 144
                : 7
                : 358-362
                aDepartment of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Auckland City Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand
                bMolecular Pathology Laboratory, Canterbury Health Laboratories, Canterbury District Health Board, Christchurch, New Zealand
                cDepartment of Nephrology, Auckland City Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand
                dDepartment of Medicine, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
                Author notes
                *Dr. James A.D. Shand, Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Auckland City Hospital, 2 Park Rd., Grafton, Auckland 1023 (New Zealand),
                507732 Nephron 2020;144:358–362
                © 2020 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 2, Pages: 5
                Experimental Nephrology and Genetics: Case Study of Genetic Interest


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