Conventional approaches to the diagnosis of mitochondrial respiratory chain diseases, using enzyme assays and histochemistry, are laborious and give limited information concerning the genetic basis of a deficiency. We have evaluated the diagnostic value of 12 monocional antibodies to subunits of the four respiratory chain enzyme complexes and F 1F 0-ATP synthase. Antibodies were used in immunological studies with skin fibroblast cultures derived from patients with diverse mitochondrial diseases, including patients in which the disease was caused by a nuclear genetic defect and patients known to harbor a heteroplasmic mutation in a mitochondrial tRNA gene. Immunoblotting experiments permitted the identification of specific enzyme assembly deficits and immunocytochemical studies provided clues regarding the genetic origin of the disease. The immunological findings were in agreement with the biochemical and genetic data of the patients. Our study demonstrates that characterization of the fibroblast cultures with the monoclonal antibodies provides a convenient technique to complement biochemical assays and histochemistry in the diagnosis of mitochondrial respiratory chain disorders.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology