Biomolecules. 2022 Oct 26;12(11):1568. doi: 10.3390/biom12111568.
LHON is a common blinding inherited optic neuropathy caused by mutations in mitochondrial genes. In this study, by using skin fibroblasts derived from LHON patients with the most common m.G11778A mutation and healthy objects, we performed proteomic analysis to document changes in molecular proteins, signaling pathways and cellular activities. Furthermore, the results were confirmed by functional studies. A total of 860 differential expression proteins were identified, containing 624 upregulated and 236 downregulated proteins. Bioinformatics analysis revealed increased glycolysis in LHON fibroblasts. A glycolysis stress test showed that ECAR (extra-cellular acidification rate) values increased, indicating an enhanced level of glycolysis in LHON fibroblasts. Downregulated proteins were mainly enriched in oxidoreductase activity. Cellular experiments verified high levels of ROS in LHON fibroblasts, indicating the presence of oxidative damage. KEGG analysis also showed the metabolic disturbance of fatty acid in LHON cells. This study provided a proteomic profile of skin fibroblasts derived from LHON patients bearing m.G11778A. Increased levels of glycolysis, decreased oxidoreductase activity and fatty acid metabolism could represent the in-depth mechanisms of mitochondrial dysfunction mediated by the mutation. The results provided further evidence that LHON fibroblast could be an alternative model for investigating the devastating disease.