AIFM1 is a gene located on the X chromosome, coding for AIF (Apoptosis-Inducing Factor), a mitochondrial flavoprotein involved in caspase-independent cell death. AIFM1 mutations have been associated with different clinical phenotypes: a severe infantile encephalopathy with combined oxidative phosphorylation deficiency and the Cowchock syndrome, an X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMTX4) with axonal sensorimotor neuropathy, deafness and cognitive impairment. In two male cousins with early-onset mitochondrial encephalopathy and cytochrome c oxidase (COX) deficiency, we identified a novel AIFM1 mutation. Muscle biopsies and electromyography in both patients showed signs of severe denervation. Our patients manifested a phenotype that included signs of both cortical and motor neuron involvement. These observations emphasize the role of AIF in the development and function of neurons.
ASJC Scopus subject areas