Human mutation

Two siblings with homozygous pathogenic splice-site variant in mitochondrial asparaginyl-tRNA synthetase (NARS2).

PMID 25385316


A homozygous missense mutation (c.822G>C) was found in the gene encoding the mitochondrial asparaginyl-tRNA synthetase (NARS2) in two siblings born to consanguineous parents. These siblings presented with different phenotypes: one had mild intellectual disability and epilepsy in childhood, whereas the other had severe myopathy. Biochemical analysis of the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) complexes in both siblings revealed a combined complex I and IV deficiency in skeletal muscle. In-gel activity staining after blue native-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis confirmed the decreased activity of complex I and IV, and, in addition, showed the presence of complex V subcomplexes. Considering the consanguineous descent, homozygosity mapping and whole-exome sequencing were combined revealing the presence of one single missense mutation in the shared homozygous region. The c.822G>C variant affects the 3' splice site of exon 7, leading to skipping of the whole exon 7 and a part of exon 8 in the NARS2 mRNA. In EBV-transformed lymphoblasts, a specific decrease in the amount of charged mt-tRNA(Asn) was demonstrated as compared with controls. This confirmed the pathogenic nature of the variant. To conclude, the reported variant in NARS2 results in a combined OXPHOS complex deficiency involving complex I and IV, making NARS2 a new member of disease-associated aaRS2.