Pathogenesis of primary defects in mitochondrial ATP synthesis

Eric A. Schon, Sumana Santra, Francesco Pallotti, Mark E. Girvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Maternally inherited mutations in the mtDNA-encoded ATPase 6 subunit of complex V (ATP synthase) of the respiratory chain/oxidative phosphorylation system are responsible for a subgroup of severe and often-fatal disorders characterized predominantly by lesions in the brain, particularly in the striatum. These include NARP (neuropathy, ataxia, and retinitis pigmentosa), MILS (maternally inherited Leigh syndrome), and FBSN (familial bilateral striatal necrosis). Of the five known pathogenic mutations causing these disorders, four are located at two codons (156 and 217), each of which can suffer mutations converting a conserved leucine to either an arginine or a proline. Based on the accumulating data on both the structure of ATP synthase and the mechanism by which rotary catalysis couples proton flow to ATP synthesis, we propose a model that may help explain why mutations at codons 156 and 217 are pathogenic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-448
Number of pages8
JournalSeminars in Cell and Developmental Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001


  • ATPase 6
  • Complex V
  • Disease
  • FBSN
  • MILS
  • NARP
  • Rotary catalysis
  • mtDNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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