Severe neonatal MEGDHEL syndrome with a homozygous truncating mutation in SERAC1

Vineta Fellman*, Rishi Banerjee, Kai-Lan Lin, Ilari Pulli, Helen Cooper, Henna Tyynismaa, Jukka Kallijärvi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

In the diagnostic work-up of a newborn infant with a metabolic crisis, lethal multiorgan failure on day six of life, and increased excretion of 3-methylglutaconic acid, we found using whole genome sequencing a homozygous SERAC1 mutation indicating MEGDHEL syndrome (3-methylglutaconic aciduria with deafness-dystonia, hepatopathy, encephalopathy, and Leigh-like syndrome). The SERAC1 protein is located at the contact site between mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and is crucial for cholesterol trafficking. Our aim was to investigate the effect of the homozygous truncating mutation on mitochondrial structure and function. In the patient fibroblasts, no SERAC1 protein was detected, the mitochondrial network was severely fragmented, and the cristae morphology was altered. Filipin staining showed uneven localization of unesterified cholesterol. The calcium buffer function between cytoplasm and mitochondria was deficient. In liver mitochondria, complexes I, III, and IV were clearly decreased. In transfected COS-1 cells the mutant protein with the a 45-amino acid C-terminal truncation was distributed throughout the cell, whereas wild-type SERAC1 partially colocalized with the mitochondrial marker MT-CO1. The structural and functional mitochondrial abnormalities, caused by the loss of SERAC1, suggest that the crucial disease mechanism is disrupted interplay between the ER and mitochondria leading to decreased influx of calcium to mitochondria and secondary respiratory chain deficiency.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBBA - Molecular Basis of Disease
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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