Cytochrome c oxidase (COX) defects are found in a clinically and genetically heterogeneous group of mitochondrial disorders. To date, mutations in only two nuclear genes causing COX deficiency have been described. We report here a genetic linkage study of a consanguineous family with an isolated COX defect and subsequent identification of a mutation in a third nuclear gene causing a deficiency of the enzyme. A genome-wide search for homozygosity allowed us to map the disease gene to chromosome 17p13.1-q11.1 (Z(max) = 2.46; θ = 0.00 at the locus D17S799). This region encompasses two genes, SCO1 and COX14 encoding proteins involved in COX assembly. Mutation analysis followed by a complementation study in yeast permitted us to ascribe the COX deficiency to a homozygous missense mutation in the COX10 gene. This gene encodes heme A:farnesyltransferase, which catalyzes the first step in the conversion of protoheme to the heme A prosthetic groups of the enzyme. All three nuclear genes now linked to isolated COX deficiency are involved in the maturation and assembly of COX, emphasizing the major role of such genes in COX pathology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology