A mitochondrial implication in a Tunisian patient with Friedreich's ataxia-like

M Maalej, E Mkaouar-Rebai, M Mnif, N Mezghani, I Ben Ayed, I Chamkha, M Abid, F Fakhfakh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Genes encoding the DNA helicase TWINKLE (C10orf2) or the two subunits of mtDNA polymerase γ (POLγ) (POLG1 and POLG2) have a direct effect on the mitochondrial DNA replication machinery and were reported in many mitochondrial disorders. Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) is the common cause of ataxia often associated with the expansion of a GAA repeat in intron 1 of the frataxin gene (FXN). Mitochondrial DNA could be considered as a candidate modifier factor for FRDA disease, since mitochondrial oxidative stress is thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of this disease. We screened the FXN, POLG1 and C10orf2 genes in a Tunisian patient with clinical features of Friedreich's ataxia-like. The results showed the absence of the expansion of a GAA triplet repeat in intron 1 of the FXN gene. Besides, the sequencing of all the exons and their flanking regions of the FXN, POLG1 and C10orf2 genes revealed the presence of intronic polymorphisms. In addition, screening of the mtDNA revealed the presence of several mitochondrial known variations and the absence of mitochondrial deletions in this patient. The detected m.16187C>T and the m.16189T>C change the order of the homopolymeric tract of cytosines between 16184 and 16193 in the mitochondrial D-loop and could lead to a mitochondrial dysfunction by inhibiting replication and affecting protein involved in the replication process of the mtDNA which could be responsible for the clinical features of Friedreich ataxia observed in the studied patient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-8
Number of pages8
JournalPathologie Biologie
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Feb
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Consanguinity
  • DNA Helicases
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • DNA Replication
  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine
  • Friedreich Ataxia
  • Haemophilus Vaccines
  • Humans
  • Introns
  • Iron-Binding Proteins
  • Male
  • Mitochondrial Diseases
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Phenotype
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Inactivated
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Spinocerebellar Degenerations
  • Trinucleotide Repeat Expansion
  • Tunisia
  • Vaccines, Conjugate


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