Exploring mito-nuclear genetic factors in Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy: insights from comprehensive profiling of unique cases

EXCLI J. 2023 Oct 9;22:1077-1091. doi: 10.17179/excli2023-6297. eCollection 2023.


Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) is a mitochondrial complex I disorder and causes inexorable painless vision loss. Recent studies from India reported that a significant proportion of LHON patients lack primary mitochondrial DNA mutations, suggesting that alternative genetic factors contribute to disease development. Therefore, this study investigated the genetic profile of LHON-affected individuals in order to understand the role of mito-nuclear genetic factors in LHON. A total of thirty probands displaying symptoms consistent with LHON have undergone whole mitochondrial and whole exome sequencing. Interestingly, whole mtDNA sequencing revealed primary mtDNA mutations in 30 % of the probands (n=9), secondary mtDNA mutations in 40 % of the probands (n=12) and no mitochondrial changes in 30 % of individuals (n=9). Further, WES analysis determined pathogenic mutations in 11 different nuclear genes, especially in cases with secondary mtDNA mutations (n=6) or no mtDNA mutations (n=6). These findings provide valuable insight into LHON genetic predisposition, particularly in cases lacking primary mtDNA mutations. See also Figure 1(Fig. 1).

PMID:38054206 | PMC:PMC10694345 | DOI:10.17179/excli2023-6297