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TEFM variants impair mitochondrial transcription causing childhood-onset neurological disease

Van Haute, Lindsey; O'Connor, Emily; Díaz-Maldonado, Héctor; Munro, Benjamin; Polavarapu, Kiran; Hock, Daniella H; Arunachal, Gautham; ... Horvath, Rita; + view all (2023) TEFM variants impair mitochondrial transcription causing childhood-onset neurological disease. Nature Communications , 14 (1) , Article 1009. 10.1038/s41467-023-36277-7. Green open access

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Abstract

Mutations in the mitochondrial or nuclear genomes are associated with a diverse group of human disorders characterized by impaired mitochondrial respiration. Within this group, an increasing number of mutations have been identified in nuclear genes involved in mitochondrial RNA biology. The TEFM gene encodes the mitochondrial transcription elongation factor responsible for enhancing the processivity of mitochondrial RNA polymerase, POLRMT. We report for the first time that TEFM variants are associated with mitochondrial respiratory chain deficiency and a wide range of clinical presentations including mitochondrial myopathy with a treatable neuromuscular transmission defect. Mechanistically, we show muscle and primary fibroblasts from the affected individuals have reduced levels of promoter distal mitochondrial RNA transcripts. Finally, tefm knockdown in zebrafish embryos resulted in neuromuscular junction abnormalities and abnormal mitochondrial function, strengthening the genotype-phenotype correlation. Our study highlights that TEFM regulates mitochondrial transcription elongation and its defect results in variable, tissue-specific neurological and neuromuscular symptoms.

Type: Article
Title: TEFM variants impair mitochondrial transcription causing childhood-onset neurological disease
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-36277-7
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-023-36277-7
Language: English
Additional information: © 2023 Springer Nature Limited. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Disease genetics, Genetics research, Neurological manifestations, Neuromuscular disease, Pathology
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Department of Neuromuscular Diseases
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10165686
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