Disorders of nuclear-mitochondrial intergenomic signaling

Antonella Spinazzola, Massimo Zeviani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Depletion and multiple deletions of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) have been associated with a number of autosomal disorders classified as defects of nuclear-mitochondrial intergenomic signaling. The mendelian forms of progressive external ophthalmoplegia (PEO) are clinically and genetically heterogeneous disorders characterized by the accumulation of multiple deletions of mtDNA in postmitotic patient's tissues. Most of the autosomal dominant PEO (adPEO) families carry heterozygous mutations in either one of three genes: ANT1, Twinkle, and POLG1. Mutations in POLG1 can also cause autosomal recessive PEO (arPEO) and apparently sporadic cases. In addition, recessive POLG1 mutations are responsible for sensory-atactic neuropathy, dysarthria and ophthalmoplegia (SANDO), juvenile spino-cerebellar ataxia-epilepsy syndrome (SCAE) and Alpers-Huttenlocher hepatopathic poliodystrophy. Mutations in thymidine phosphorylase gene (TP) are linked to mitochondrial neurogastrointestinal encephalomyopathy (MNGIE), an autosomal recessive disorder in which PEO is associated with gastrointestinal dysmotility and leukodystrophy. Finally, mitochondrial DNA depletion syndromes (MDS), defined by tissue-reduction in mtDNA copy number, have been linked to mutations in two genes involved in deoxyribonucleotide (dNTP) metabolism: thymidine kinase 2 (TK2) and deoxyguanosine kinase (DGUOK).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-168
Number of pages7
Issue number1-2 SPEC. ISS.
Publication statusPublished - Jul 18 2005


  • Autosomal
  • Depletion
  • Mitochondrial DNA
  • Multiple deletions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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