Mutations in GTPBP3 cause a mitochondrial translation defect associated with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, lactic acidosis, and encephalopathy

Robert Kopajtich, Thomas J. Nicholls, Joanna Rorbach, Metodi D. Metodiev, Peter Freisinger, Hanna Mandel, Arnaud Vanlander, Daniele Ghezzi, Rosalba Carrozzo, Robert W. Taylor, Klaus Marquard, Kei Murayama, Thomas Wieland, Thomas Schwarzmayr, Johannes A. Mayr, Sarah F. Pearce, Christopher A. Powell, Ann Saada, Akira Ohtake, Federica InvernizziEleonora Lamantea, Ewen W. Sommerville, Angela Pyle, Patrick F. Chinnery, Ellen Crushell, Yasushi Okazaki, Masakazu Kohda, Yoshihito Kishita, Yoshimi Tokuzawa, Zahra Assouline, Marlène Rio, François Feillet, Bénédict Mousson De Camaret, Dominique Chretien, Arnold Munnich, Björn Menten, Tom Sante, Joél Smet, Luc Régal, Abraham Lorber, Asaad Khoury, Massimo Zeviani, Tim M. Strom, Thomas Meitinger, Enrico S. Bertini, Rudy Van Coster, Thomas Klopstock, Agnès Rötig, Tobias B. Haack, Michal Minczuk, Holger Prokisch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Respiratory chain deficiencies exhibit a wide variety of clinical phenotypes resulting from defective mitochondrial energy production through oxidative phosphorylation. These defects can be caused by either mutations in the mtDNA or mutations in nuclear genes coding for mitochondrial proteins. The underlying pathomechanisms can affect numerous pathways involved in mitochondrial physiology. By whole-exome and candidate gene sequencing, we identified 11 individuals from 9 families carrying compound heterozygous or homozygous mutations in GTPBP3, encoding the mitochondrial GTP-binding protein 3. Affected individuals from eight out of nine families presented with combined respiratory chain complex deficiencies in skeletal muscle. Mutations in GTPBP3 are associated with a severe mitochondrial translation defect, consistent with the predicted function of the protein in catalyzing the formation of 5-taurinomethyluridine (τm5U) in the anticodon wobble position of five mitochondrial tRNAs. All case subjects presented with lactic acidosis and nine developed hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. In contrast to individuals with mutations in MTO1, the protein product of which is predicted to participate in the generation of the same modification, most individuals with GTPBP3 mutations developed neurological symptoms and MRI involvement of thalamus, putamen, and brainstem resembling Leigh syndrome. Our study of a mitochondrial translation disorder points toward the importance of posttranscriptional modification of mitochondrial tRNAs for proper mitochondrial function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)708-720
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 4 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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