Pathogenesis of the deafness-associated A1555G mitochondrial DNA mutation

Carla Giordano, Francesco Pallotti, Winsome F. Walker, Nicoletta Checcarelli, Olimpia Musumeci, Filippo Santorelli, Giulia D'Amati, Eric A. Schon, Salvatore DiMauro, Michio Hirano, Mercy M. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The pathogenic mechanisms of the A1555G mitochondrial DNA mutation in the 12S rRNA gene, associated with maternally inherited sensorineural deafness, are largely unknown. Previous studies have suggested an involvement of nuclear factor(s). To address this issue cybrids were generated by fusing osteosarcoma cells devoid of mtDNA with enucleated fibroblasts from two genetically unrelated patients. Furthermore, to determine the contribution, if any, of the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes, separately or in combination, in the expression of the disease phenotype, transmitochondrial fibroblasts were constructed using control and patient's fibroblasts as nuclear donors and homoplasmic mutant or wild-type cybrids as mitochondrial donors. Detailed analysis of mutant and wild-type cybrids from both patients and transmitochondrial fibroblast clones did not reveal any respiratory chain dysfunction suggesting that, if nuclear factors do indeed act as modifier agents, they may be tissue-specific. However, in the presence of high concentrations of neomycin or paromomycin, but not of streptomycin, mutant cells exhibit a decrease in the growth rate, when compared to wild-type cells. The decrease did not correlate with the rate of synthesis or stability of mitochondrial DNA-encoded subunits or respiratory chain activity. Further studies are required to determine the underlying biochemical defect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-529
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Aminoglycosides
  • Cybrids
  • Mutant
  • Neomycin
  • Nuclear
  • Paromomycin
  • rRNA
  • Tissue-specific
  • Transmitochondrial
  • Wild type

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology


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