Iron–sulfur clusters are evolutionarily conserved biological structures which play an important role as cofactor for multiple enzymes in eukaryotic cells. The biosynthesis pathways of the iron–sulfur clusters are located in the mitochondria and in the cytosol. The mitochondrial iron–sulfur cluster biosynthesis pathway (ISC) can be divided into at least twenty enzymatic steps. Since the description of frataxin deficiency as the cause of Friedreich’s ataxia, multiple other deficiencies in ISC bio - synthesis pathway have been reported. In this paper, an overview is given of the clinical, biochemical and genetic aspects reported in humans affected by a defect in iron–sulfur cluster biosynthesis. Keywords Iron–sulfur clusters · Mitochondria · Phenotype · OXPHOS Introduction [4Fe/4S] clusters . Apart from being synthesized and incorporated as cofactor into apoproteins, iron–sulfur clus- In eukaryotes, the Fe/S-cluster biosynthesis machinery is ters also serve as redox center, as they are incorporated in classically divided into the mitochondrial iron–sulfur clus- the complexes I, II, and III of the oxidative phosphorylation ter assembly (ISC) and export machinery, and cytosolic system (OXPHOS), embedded in the inner mitochondrial iron–sulfur protein assembly (CIA) system. Nowadays, 9 membrane. CIA proteins and 20 ISC proteins are known to assist the Considering the pleiotropic subcellular localization and major steps in biogenesis. All steps in these machineries are the essential role of the Fe–S-cluster-bearing enzymes in evolutionarily conserved from yeast to man. Once incor- cell viability, it is easy to understand that faulty synthesis porated into their target protein, Fe/S-cluster function as and lack of insertion of these inorganic elements can have catalysts or take part in electron transfer. They also serve detrimental effects on human health. An overview will be as sulfur donors in lipoate and biotin cofactor biosynthesis given of the genetic and clinical aspects of the molecular . Fe/S-cluster-bearing proteins are located in the mito- defects located in the biosynthesis pathway of iron–sulfur chondria and in the cell nucleus, where they play a role in clusters in the mitochondria. Until now, diseases resulting gene expression regulation . Moreover, proteins involved from pathogenic mutations in proteins involved in CIA have in DNA replication, DNA repair (Pol α, Pol ε, Pol δ, and not been reported. Pol γ) and those functioning as DNA helicase harbor Fe/S clusters . The cytosolic ABC protein ABCE1 required for ribosome assembly and protein translation has two Mitochondrial iron–sulfur biosynthesis (ISC) ISC can be divided into three major steps. The first part The original version of this article was revised due to a encompasses formation of a [2Fe–2S] Fe/S cluster on a retrospective Open Access order. scaffold protein. Subsequently, the cluster released from * R. Van Coster the scaffold protein by dedicated chaperones is maintained firstname.lastname@example.org in a gluthatione (GSH)-dependent fashion. The synthe- sized product is further processed intramitochondrially or Division of Pediatric Neurology and Metabolism, Department of Pediatrics, Ghent University Hospital, Prinses exported into the cytosol to be processed by CIA. The exact Elisabeth ziekenhuis, 3K12D, secretariaat kinderneurologie, nature of the exported structure is unknown, but it might be Corneel Heymanslaan 10, Ghent 9000, Belgium Vol.:(0123456789) 1 3 496 JBIC Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry (2018) 23:495–506 2− a glutathione-stabilized [2Fe–2S] ([2Fe–2S](GS) ) . The an important role in this process at least in humans. Interac- export of this structure is mediated by ABCB7 in coopera- tion of frataxin with ISCU is important for ISC biosynthesis tion with ALR, an FAD-dependent sulfhydryl oxidase. The and seems to be iron dependent . The sulfur component implication of ALR is, however, still a matter of debate, as is delivered through desulfuration of cysteine into alanine a study in yeast could not show impaired cytosolic iron–sul- by cysteine desulfurase (NFS1), acting in a dimer conforma- fur cluster assembly . The mitochondrial machinery can tion, in association with the cofactor pyridoxal 5’ phosphate. synthesize [2Fe–2S] or [4Fe–4S] clusters and incorporate In addition, NFS1 requires association with a heterodimer these into the appropriate apoproteins (Fig. 1). For a detailed composed of ISD11 (encoded by LYRM4) and acyl carrier description of the iron–sulfur cluster pathway and the spe- protein (ACP)  for stabilization . cific role of each enzyme within this pathway, we refer to other papers within this issue. Faulty ISC synthesis can lead to mitochondrial failure, ISCU preferentially affecting high energy consuming organs, i.e., central nervous system, skeletal muscle, heart muscle, and As ISCU functions as a scaffold protein at the start of Fe/S- liver. A deficiency in ISC synthesis can thus mimic clinical cluster synthesis, defective ISCU is predicted to impair over- phenotypes of oxidative phosphorylation defects (Table 1). all cluster synthesis resulting in large downstream effects, Considering the intricate relationship between ISC biosyn- often with lethal consequences. This was confirmed in mice thesis and cellular iron homeostasis, ISC deficiencies can . However, tissue specific splicing and partial enzymatic lead to iron accumulation. impairment are found in subjects harboring pathogenic vari- ants in ISCU. ISCU deficiency can cause myopathy with exercise intolerance and lactic acidosis, which is called the De novo synthesis of [2Fe–2S] clusters Swedish type myopathy. Subjects may experience cramps and show rhabdomyolysis. Interestingly, most of the affected One of the mitochondrial matrix proteins dedicated to Fe–S- subjects carry the common homozygous intronic mutation cluster synthesis is ISCU . The ferrous iron required for (7044G > C, or IVS5 + 382G-C), and all of them (except Fe/S synthesis is imported into the mitochondria through the for one Norwegian) are native from a region in Northern mitochondrial solute carriers mitoferrin 1 (SLC25A37) and Sweden, explaining the denomination of Swedish myopathy 2 (SLC25A28). In contrast to mitoferrin 1, which is exclu- . In 2009, two siblings were identified with an exonic sively expressed in developing erythroid cells, mitoferrin missense mutation (149G > A, Gly50Glu) in a compound 2 is widely expressed . How iron gets into the scaffold heterozygous state, which includes the common intronic protein is not totally elucidated yet, but frataxin (FXN) plays Fig. 1 Schematic representation of the intramitochondrial iron–sulfur cluster biosynthesis pathway (see text for details) 1 3 JBIC Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry (2018) 23:495–506 497 Table 1 Overview of the reported ISC related diseases showing the causative genes, the clinical, biochemical and morphological features Gene Clinical features Biochemical and morphological features References SLC25A37: RARS (myelodysplastic syndrome with isolated anemia Increased expression of mitoferrin 1 16 ineffective erythropoiesis) ISCU: Myopathy with exercise intolerance Decreased complex I, II, and III activity (muscle) [13–15] Severe myopathy with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy Normal lipoylation Increased lactate FXN: Friedreich’s ataxia (progressive ataxia, dysarthria, diabe- Aconitase deficiency [21, 24] tes mellitus, cardiomyopathy) < 20 years Decreased complex I, II, and III activity (heart) Mitochondrial iron overload NFS1: Cardiomyopathy, epilepsy Decreased complex II and III activity (muscle, liver) 30 Hypotonia, multiple organ failure, epilepsy Absence of LYRM4 Developmental delay, hypotonia LYRM4: (Transient) hypotonia ± epilepsy Decreased complex I, II, and III activity (muscle, liver) 31 Decreased expression: aconitase, ferrochelatase FDXR: Auditory neuropathy and optic atrophy Decreased complex I, III, (IV, V) (fibroblasts) 33 Iron accumulation, aconitase deficiency (fibroblasts) FDXL2: Myopathy (cramps, rhabdomyolysis, myoglobinuria) Increased lactate 34 Decreased complex I, II, and III activity (muscle, liver) Aconitase deficiency HSPA9: EVEN-PLUS syndrome Ineffective hematopoiesis (zebrafish) [38, 39] GLRX5: Lower limb spasticity, optic nerve atrophy Increased lactate (serum) and glycine (CSF) [7, 41–43] Congenital sideroblastic anemia ± diabetes mellitus Normal OXPHOS activity (muscle) type1 ± cirrhosis ± hypogonadism Defective lipoylation (fibroblasts) Ring sideroblasts; iron accumulation (fibroblasts) Increased ferritin (serum) ABCB7: Sideroblastic anemia, ataxia ± cerebellar atrophy Mild hypochromic, microcytic anemia [45, 46, 48] Female carriers: anemia Variable ferritin (serum) Normal OXPHOS activity (fibroblasts) ALR: Developmental delay, hypotonia (± dystonia, choreic Increased lactate (serum) [51–53] movements), congenital cataract ± hearing loss Decreased complex I, II, III, and IV activity (muscle, fibroblast) ISCA1: Regression, seizures, progressive leukodystrophy Increased lactate 57 ISCA2: Diffuse progressive leukodystrophy Isolated complex I deficiency (fibroblasts) 58 Decreased complex I, II, and III activity (HeLa) Decreased aconitase activity (HeLa) IBA57: Microcephaly, hypotonia, encephalopathy, dysmorphism Increased lactate and glycine (serum, CSF) [60–64] Regression, leukodystrophy Faulty lipoylation Spastic paraparesis, peripheral neuropathy ± optic nerve Decreased complex I, II, and IV activity (muscle, fibro- atrophy (SPOAN) blasts) Decreased aconitase activity (fibroblasts) Decreased complex I, II, and III activity (HeLa) NFU1: Failure to thrive, pulmonary hypertension, hypotonia, Increased glycine (serum and CSF) [68, 70–72] leukodystrophy Increased lactate (serum) Pulmonary hypertension, regression Faulty lipoylation Bilateral optic atrophy Decreased complex II and PDHC activity (muscle) Epilepsy (variable OXPHOS deficiencies in tissues) BOLA3: Epileptic encephalopathy, cardiomyopathy Increased glycine (serum, CSF) [41, 66, 73] Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, regression, epilepsy Increased lactate (serum) Spasticity, ataxia, regression, epilepsy Faulty lipoylation Decreased complex I and II (fibroblasts, muscle) Normal PDHC and aconitase activity NUBPL: Encephalopathy Increased lactate (serum, CSF) [74, 76] Ataxia, spasticity Deficient complex I activity (muscle, fibroblasts Developmental delay, ataxia, spasticity, white matter alterations 1 3 498 JBIC Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry (2018) 23:495–506 mutation. They had a more severe phenotype with early Cardiomyopathy seldom causes death before neurological onset (around the age of 2 years) of severe muscle weakness symptoms are fully developed . In accordance with the and muscle wasting, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy . early involvement of the frataxin protein in ISC biosynthe- Very recently a dominant mode of inheritance (c.287G > T, sis pathway, deficiencies of aconitase and of the OXPHOS pGly96Val) was reported in an Italian subject presenting complexes I, II, and III have been reported in subject’s car- with ptosis, hypotonia and exercise intolerance, showing diomyocytes . Mitochondrial iron accumulation was worsening over time . Biochemical features were dif- another striking finding. In cultured skin fibroblasts from ferent from previously reported cases, including complex IV of Friedreich’s ataxia patients, the activities of complexes deficiency in addition to the classically reported complex I, I and II were decreased . II, and III deficiencies . Analysis of transcript expression Importantly, Friedreich’s ataxia is the first iron–sulfur showed that the highest level of mutant transcript was in cluster deficiency for which therapeutic options are being skeletal muscle (80%), while liver and heart had lower levels developed. Currently, 51 clinical trials are going on or (46 and 30%, respectively), explaining the tissue specific have recently been completed. These are studying differ - phenotype of this disease . ent therapeutic approaches aiming (a) to reduce intrami- tochondrial oxidative stress (idebenone, coenzymeQ, vita- min E, iron chelators), (b) to enhance frataxin endogenous SLC25A37 and SLC25A28 expression (erythropoietin, pioglitazone), or (c) to increase FRDA gene expression (HDAC inhibitors, interferon γ). Disease-causing mutations have not been detected yet in For further detailed information on this topic, we refer to genes encoding these proteins. However, in the subjects with recently published papers [26, 27]. Some of the proposed refractory anemia and ring sideroblasts (RARS), increased strategies, alone or combined, showed improvement on expression of mitoferrin 1 (SLC25A37) in bone-marrow disease rating scales, but are not disease-modifying or cur- mononuclear cells was found . RARS is a form of mye- ing. However, more promising results are emerging from lodysplastic syndrome leading to isolated anemia, hypochro- gene therapy. In a conditional mouse model with complete mic erythrocytes, hyperplastic ineffective erythropoiesis and Fxn deletion in cardiac muscle, intravenous administration mitochondrial ferritin accumulation in erythroid precursor of adeno-associated virus (AAV) rh10 vector expressing cells. human FXN intravenously prevented occurrence of car- diomyopathy or completely restored heart function . Increased frataxin expression in patient derived lymph- FXN oblast was observed after excising the GAA expansion repeat in one allele using zinc finger nuclease . Being involved early in the ISC synthesis pathway, a decrease of frataxin protein has an impact on the over- NFS1 all Fe/S-cluster synthesis. Indeed, frataxin null mutations were shown to be lethal in mice . Defective frataxin Not much is known about the clinical characteristics of protein is seen in Friedreich’s ataxia. The latter is caused an NFS1 protein defect in humans as only one report was by the presence of a triplet repeat expansion (GAA) in published until now describing three subjects from consan- the first intron of the FXN gene in the homozygous or in a guineous descent all sharing the same homozygous missense compound heterozygous state with a missense or nonsense mutation, c.215G > A, p.Arg72Gln . This conserved mutation [18, 19]. The disease is characterized by progres- residue was recognized to be an important residue for the sive ataxia, the absence of lower limb tendon reflexes, dys- hydrogen bond formation between NFS1 and ISD11 [10, arthria, limb weakness leading to loss of ambulation after 11]. The first subject presented at 7 months of age with leth- several years, decreased vibration sense, scoliosis, diabetes argy, myocardial failure, and generalized seizures during an mellitus and cardiomyopathy. The neurological symptoms infectious episode ultimately leading to fatal outcome 3 days reflect specific vulnerability of dorsal root ganglia, sensory later. The second subject presented with hypotonia and feed- peripheral nerves, corticospinal tract and dentate nucleus ing problems, and developed multiple organ failure, as well . The age of onset is before 20 years. The length of as focal seizures due to cerebral infarction. Heart failure was the triplet expansion correlates directly with left ventricu- the cause of death at the age of 7 months. The third subject lar wall thickness  and inversely correlates with age who was started on vitamin supplementation since the age of onset and faster exacerbation of symptoms . The of 6 months was still alive at 11 years and suffered from mild affected subjects become ultimately wheelchair bound developmental delay and truncal and limb hypotonia . and cardiomyopathy is often the cause of fatal outcome. Biochemical features included increased lactate in body 1 3 JBIC Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry (2018) 23:495–506 499 fluids and decreased complex II and III activity in skeletal FDX2 muscle and liver (complex I not tested individually) . Only one subject with a defect in FDX2 (encoded by the ISD11 FDXL) was reported, so far. A homozygous missense mutation in the start codon resulted in a severe decrease LYRM4 encodes iron–sulfur protein biogenesis desulfurase of expression of FDXL. The subject suffered from myopa- interacting protein 11kDa (ISD11). Until now, only two sub- thy characterized by episodes of acute cramps, rhabdomy- jects were reported with homozygous pathogenic missense olysis, and myoglobinuria after moderate physical activity. variant in LYRM4. Although both harbored the same geno- During follow-up, a slowly progressive muscle weakness type, their phenotypes were different. One subject was alive was noticed. The mental capacities were not altered. Dur- at 20 years of age without symptoms, while the other died ing acute episodes, serum lactate was increased. OXPHOS at the age of 2 months. The first presented with respiratory activity analysis in skeletal muscle showed typical features distress and hypotonia during the neonatal period. There- of Fe/S-cluster deficiency with decreased activities of com- after, he improved gradually and was lost to follow-up, but plexes I, II, and III, and a decreased activity of the Fe/S- reevaluation at age 20 years showed no remarkable clini- cluster matrix enzyme aconitase . cal anomalies. The latter suffered from neonatal respiratory Interestingly, the clinical presentation of FDX2 deficiency distress and had hepatomegaly. She developed seizures. Her mimics the phenotype of individuals with ISCU deficiency. clinical condition deteriorated and ultimately became fatal. Tissue specific splicing cannot be an explanation for the Both subjects showed no anomalies on cerebral imaging skeletal muscle specific phenotype as FDX2 is expressed . The different outcomes in both individuals could pos- ubiquitously. The authors suggest that FDX2 is not a vital sibly be explained by the availability of sulfur sources during component in Fe–S biogenesis and that FDX1 may partly the first weeks of life. Indeed, availability of cysteine, the take over the function in basal conditions, but not in extreme major sulfur source, is restricted in the neonatal period due conditions . to reduced activity of hepatic cystathionase . Affected individuals showed increased lactate in body fluids due to [2Fe–2S] cluster release impaired complex functioning of the OXPHOS complexes I, II, and III in skeletal muscle and liver. In both tissues, cyto- Cluster release starts by binding of the J-type co-chaperone solic and mitochondrial aconitase and also ferrochelatase HSCB (HSC20, Jac1), and HSPA9 (mortalin, HSPA9B) to showed decreased expression. Incorporation of the mutation the ISCU-Fe/S, resulting in loosening of the [2Fe–2S] clus- in S. cerevisiae resulted in growth restriction. In E. coli, the ter in an ATP dependent process . In addition, GLRX5, variant had no impact on the oligomerization of ISD11 with possessing a [2Fe–2S] cluster itself, binds to the complex its partner protein NFS1. The enzymatic desulfurase activity in a dimeric conformation and recruits GRPEL1 for final was severely impaired in the same model . cluster release [35, 36]. Synthesized [2Fe–2S] clusters or intermediate elements meant for further processing by the FDXR cytosolic iron–sulfur machinery are exported by the ABCB7 translocator. The FAD-dependent sulfhydryl oxidase ALR is FDXR deficiency has only recently been reported. In one thought to support the export . It is generally accepted paper, eight individuals from four different families were that proper cytosolic ISC synthesis relies on exported mito- described. The core clinical features were restricted to sen- chondrial intermediates. Subsequently, we can conclude that sorineural hearing loss (auditory neuropathy) and optic atro- all protein deficiencies occurring before this stage can lead phy. Age of onset for hearing impairment ranged from five to eventually to disruption of cytosolic ISC synthesis, and ulti- 20 years and from 2 to 36 years for visual impairment. Brain mately to mitochondrial iron overload. imaging revealed no abnormalities. All individuals had mis- sense mutations, except for one who had a nonsense muta- HSPA9 tion in compound heterozygous status. Biochemical analysis in affected subjects was performed in cultured skin fibro- This heat shock protein is associated with cluster release. blasts showing impaired complexes I, III, IV, and V in one It is supposed to have many other functions, including cor- subject and impairment of complexes I and III in the other. rect folding of proteins after being imported into the mito- The absence of complex II involvement was remarkable, chondria. Three subjects with a HSPA9 deficiency carried certainly considering the decreased expression of SDHB. a homozygous missense mutation or missense mutation in Finally, iron overload, in combination with decreased IRP1 a compound state with a nonsense mutation. Affected sub- content, was noticed . jects presented overlapping symptoms recollected in the 1 3 500 JBIC Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry (2018) 23:495–506 acronym EVEN-PLUS syndrome, reflecting epiphyseal, ver - All patients were still alive at the time of publication of the tebral, ear and nose malformation, plus associated findings paper, i.e., aged between 7 and 11 years . . Indeed, all subjects presented ‘bifid’ distal femurs and Two adults, both harboring missense mutations, were epiphyseal dysplasia of the femur head, resulting in short described with congenital sideroblastic anemia and hepato- stature, bilateral microtia and hypoplastic nasal bones. One splenomegaly, without signs of spasticity. Later, in the dis- subject showed vertebral coronal clefts and another lat- ease course, they developed diabetes mellitus type 1 [42, eral vertebral clefts. Other findings comprised arched eye- 43]. One patient had cirrhosis and hypogonadism . brows with mild synophrys and atrial septum defects for all Biochemical analysis in the subjects with the spastic phe- reported patients. Two of them had anal atresia and a small notype showed increased glycine concentration in serum area of aplasia cutis. One had hypodontia, which is another and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). In accordance, the activity feature of ectodermal tissue involvement. Only one subject of glycine cleavage enzyme in liver tissue was low in all presented with developmental delay and had abnormal cer- subjects. This was probably due to defective lipoylation of ebral imaging (dysgenesis of the corpus callosum). This sub- the H-protein moiety. Defective lipoylation of αKGDH and ject also had vesico-ureteral reflux and kidney nephropathy PDHC has already been demonstrated in cultured skin fibro- . Biochemical features in affected subjects were not blasts. Activity of OXPHOS complexes was not tested in provided, except for the reported anemia. Indeed, a HSPA9 all patients, but OXPHOS activities were not defective in deficient zebrafish, called ‘crimsonless’, showed ineffective cultured skin fibroblasts and skeletal muscle. Lactate was hematopoiesis and also deleterious effects on early devel- normal in these subjects . opment of musculature, fins and internal organs leading to In the probands with sideroblastic anemia, a signifi- death at the 72 hpf stage . An acquired interstitial dele- cant amount (> 15%) of ring sideroblasts was detected in tion of the long arm of chromosome 5 [del(5q)] creating bone-marrow smears. Apart from erythroid iron accumula- haploinsufficiency for a large set of genes including HSPA9 tion, transferrin saturation and ferritin concentration were haploinsufficiency is a known cause of myelodysplastic syn- increased in serum. Further evidence of defective ISC bio- drome characterized by ineffective hematopoiesis . synthesis was provided by decreased Fe/S incorporated in cytosolic aconitase and decreased catalytic activity of this GLRX5 enzyme [42, 43]. Activities of the mitochondrial aconitase and complex II were normal in lymphoblasts . How- Although the number of reported patients is still limited, ever, complex I activity and complex I expression were two clearly distinct phenotypes, characterized either by significantly decreased in cultured skin fibroblasts [7 ]. The isolated spasticity of the lower limbs or by isolated side- cultured skin fibroblasts also showed increased iron accumu- roblastic anemia, can be found. An erythroblastoid phe- lation, both in mitochondria and cytosol . Interestingly, notype is expected, considering the abundant expression therapy with the iron chelator, deferoxamine, resulted in of GLRX5 in erythroid cells (CD71 +) and only minimal improvement of anemia in both patients [42, 43]. expression in other tissues . However, in mice apart In HeLa cells depleted of GLRX5, a decreased activity of from erythroblasts high expression of GLRX5 was also mitochondrial aconitase and xanthine oxidase was detected, demonstrated in the hippocampus and Purkinje cells of confirming the essential role for cytosolic and mitochondrial the cerebellum . ISC, both [4Fe–4S] and [2Fe–2S] clusters. These cells also Three individuals with GLRX5 deficiency, caused by showed increased (approximately doubled) total non-heme homozygous in frame deletion or out of frame insertion lead- mitochondrial iron content and lower ferritin expression . ing to premature stop codon in combination with the same in frame deletion, were identified in a cohort of patients ABCB7 with non-ketotic hyperglycinemia (NKH). In contrast to the classical presentation of NKH characterized by neonatal epi- Deficient export of ISC or ISC intermediates results in iron leptic encephalopathy, these subjects developed symptoms accumulation in mitochondria. As synthesis per se is not much later and showed a milder disease course. One subject affected, OXPHOS complexes are not deficient. Comple - had only mild learning difficulties and two individuals had mentation studies in yeast showed the importance of ABCB7 normal mental development, but one of them suffered from protein for cytosolic ISC maturation. A defect in ABCB7 progressive deterioration of vision, in accordance with pro- resulted in abolition of the activity of cytosolic aconitase, gressive optic nerve atrophy. Spasticity of the lower limbs which functions as an iron regulatory protein (IRP), leading occurred between the age of 2 and 7 years. These symptoms to increased transferrin receptor synthesis and subsequent correlated with varying degrees of diffuse and progressive increase in iron uptake. Anemia is explained by decreased white matter alterations seen on brain MRI in two subjects, ferritin and decreased erythroid 5-aminolevulinate synthase and only mild alteration of the upper spinal cord in another. (ALAS2) synthesis. 1 3 JBIC Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry (2018) 23:495–506 501 All reported subjects with either hemizygous or heterozy- revealed a combined OXPHOS deficiency involving com- gous missense mutations presented with sideroblastic ane- plexes I, II, and IV in one subject  and deficiency of the mia in combination with ataxia. Although classically a non- OXPHOS complexes I, II, III, and IV in another . A defi- progressive ataxia was reported, some adult patients suffered ciency involving the complexes I, III, and IV was reported from regression of motor function. Early motor development by Nambot et al. (2017) in two subjects. In another subject, varied from normal to delayed. Age of onset of the central only isolated complex IV deficiency was found in cultured nervous symptoms varied from early childhood to late adult- skin fibroblasts . Authors did not report anemia in the hood. Ocular symptoms with nystagmus and/or small sac- affected individuals, but three subjects were found to have cades were reported in three adults . Cerebral imaging is low serum ferritin . normal or shows isolated cerebellar atrophy. Heterozygous females may suffer from hypochromic microcytic anemia, Fe/S‑cluster targeting and further maturation but do not present with neurological symptoms [45–48]. More recently, isolated cerebellar hypoplasia without side- After [2Fe–2S] clusters are released from the scaffold pro- roblastic anemia was reported in the affected individuals tein, they can immediately be incorporated into the apopro- in one family. These individuals also harbored a deletion teins or the OXPHOS complexes I, II, and III. Incorporation on chromosome X, affecting two other genes (ATP7A and needs the assistance of chaperone proteins. For further matu- PGAM4) that might have influenced the phenotype . ration to [4Fe–4S], assistance of a chaperone protein is also necessary, i.e., ISCA1 and ISCA2 as well as the folate bind- ALR ing protein IBA57 . ISCA1 and ISCA2 are important for iron incorporation onto the [2Fe–2S]. NFU1 is a dedicated The ALR protein is encoded by the GFER gene. It is an chaperone protein for [4Fe–4S] incorporation into com- oxidase essential for the mitochondrial disulfide relay sys- plexes I and II as well as for LIAS (lipoic acid synthase), but tem, which is extremely important for protein import into not for mitochondrial aconitase. BOLA3 is another chaper- the mitochondrial intermembranary space . ALR may one protein that has a similar role as NFU1. IND1 (encoded be involved in export of ISC synthesized intermediates into by NUBPL) which stands for the iron–sulfur protein required the cytosol . by NADH dehydrogenase, which was initially thought to be Ae ff cted subjects, all harboring missense mutations, have needed for incorporation of [4Fe–4S] clusters into complex variable degrees of developmental delay, hypotonia and con- I . Its function was, however, reconsidered after studies genital cataract. In serum, lactate is increased. with the A. thaliana ortholog Ind1, which showed that it In the first report, three subjects of consanguineous ori- functions as a translation factor necessary for expression of gin were described presenting with congenital cataracts, multiple complex I subunits . Considering the uncertain early onset progressive muscular hypotonia, sensorineural nature of its action, we included a discussion on the clinical hearing loss, delay of motor skills and speech development features associated with NUBPL dysfunction. . In a second paper, an adult subject was described with infantile-onset adrenal insufficiency, cataract and subse - ISCA1 quently poor feeding, irritability and hepatomegaly. Cerebral imaging revealed mildly increased signals bilaterally in the ISCA1 is one of the most recently reported defects in Fe/S- globus pallidus, which was resolved later on. By the age cluster biogenesis. Together with ISCA2 and IBA57 it acts at of 18 months the clinical situation stabilized and the child a late stage of the ISC biosynthesis pathway and is required had only a slightly delayed development. At an early adult for [4Fe–4S] cluster assembly. In two unrelated families with age, truncal hypotonia and muscle wasting were noticed, two affected children, ISCA1 deficiency caused by homozy - leading to respiratory insufficiency . Very recently, two gous missense mutations was reported. The affected indi- families, each with two affected siblings, were reported. Two viduals had normal prenatal development, but in the young siblings presented with regression at the age of 9 months infantile period showed developmental delay, poor head associated with hypotonia evolving to severe developmental control and signs of spasticity. Extensive cerebral and cer- delay, dystonia, choreic movements and absent or minimal ebellar abnormalities including pachygyria, enlarged lateral language development. Cerebral imaging showed moderate ventricles and abnormal cerebral and cerebellar white matter brain atrophy in one sibling. The other two subjects also signals were seen on brain imaging. Seizures were apparent presented with developmental delay associated with hypo- within the first months (2nd–5th) of life, and the children tonia and mild dystonic features. All reported subjects had died between 11 months and 5 years. When documented, congenital cataracts, and none had hearing loss . blood lactate was increased and a lactate peak was seen by When tested, serum lactate was found to be increased cerebral MR spectroscopy . Measurements of OXPHOS [51, 52]. Interestingly, OXPHOS testing in skeletal muscle complex activities were not reported. 1 3 502 JBIC Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry (2018) 23:495–506 ISCA2 palate, widely spaced nipples, arthrogryposis of elbows, wrists, fingers and knees. Despite prompt adequate intensive support, Although only 16 subjects with ISCA2 deficiency were the conditions deteriorated leading to early death. Cerebral reported until now, all caused by a missense mutation, an MRI was abnormal with hypoplasia of the corpus callosum apparent uniform phenotype seems to segregate. Affected and medulla oblongata and bilateral frontoparietal polymicro- individuals presented a leukodystrophy characterized by dif- gyria, and severely enlarged lateral ventricles . fuse white matter alterations seen on brain MRI extending Subjects with the mildest phenotype presented with spas- into the corpus callosum and posterior limb of the capsula tic paraplegia, variably associated with optic nerve atrophy interna, and also alterations in the mesencephalon and cer- and peripheral neuropathy, abbreviated as SPOAN. Sub- ebellar white matter. In some patients, abnormal cervical jects suffered from slowly progressive gait impairment due spinal cord signaling was also seen. The subjects became to spastic paraparesis together with peripheral neuropathy symptomatic after an uneventful pregnancy, between the and superficial sensory loss. Age of onset of gait impair - age of three and 7 months. Presenting symptoms were loss ment varied between 3 and 12 years. Central nervous sys- of fixation with or without nystagmus and loss of acquired tem lesions were minor, as all affected subjects led an inde- motor and social skills. Eventually all developed spasticity pendent adult life, without cognitive impairment. Cerebral of the upper and lower limbs and optic nerve atrophy. All MRI in one subject showed, aside from bilateral optic nerve subjects were considered as having a degenerative condition atrophy, scattered white matter alterations. Only one sub- and died a few months to 2 years after the onset of the initial ject presented with mild cerebellar and cervical spinal cord symptoms [58, 59]. For some subjects, symptoms started atrophy . after an inflammatory episode (infection or vaccine) or after In three reports, a third phenotype was described, all mild head trauma . CSF lactate and to a milder extent together in 15 subjects. The children presented with loss of plasma lactate was increased. This was also the case for CSF motor and mental skills between 4 and 15 months of age. and plasma glycine . Analysis of OXPHOS complex These findings correlated with extensive white matter altera- activities in subject’s cultured skin fibroblasts revealed that tions in cerebrum, cerebellum, mesencephalon and in the complex I was severely impaired but complex II or III were upper spinal cord. The corpus callosum and basal ganglia normal. In HeLa cells depleted of ISCA2 using siRNA, a were not affected [61– 63]. decreased expression of several ISC bearing proteins (mito- Increased lactate in serum and CSF and increased gly- chondrial aconitase, SDH, NDUFS3, NDUFA9, NDUFB4, cine were common biochemical features in most of the NDUFA13, UQCRFS1) was found but no decrease of ferro- affected subjects. In all subjects, deficient activity and chelatase. Activity measurements showed impaired activity expression of complexes I and II and faulty lipoylation in of the complexes I and II and of mitochondrial aconitase. all analysed tissues (lymphoblasts, cultured skin fibro- In accordance to its distal action in the ISC biosynthesis blasts and skeletal muscle) were detected [60–63]. None pathway, no deleterious effect on heme synthesis could be of the described subjects had signs of anemia. detected in ISCA2 depleted cells . Similar as for ISCA2, HeLa cells depleted of IBA57 using siRNA, showed decreased expression of the ISC IBA57 bearing subunits of complex I, complex II, and complex III but not of ferrochelatase. Since the first publication in 2013 , four other papers were reported describing subjects with IBA57 deficiency, in total now 28 subjects. Three different phenotypes can be NFU1 discerned with IBA57 deficiency, all with involvement of the central nervous system. The severity and type of lesions The role of NFU1 in human ISC biogenesis was deduced and the age of onset of symptoms are variable. Two pheno- from the biochemical alterations detected in affected sub- types are associated with early fatal or debilitating outcomes jects. As complexes I and II and lipoylation were defi- [60–63], and one phenotype with a milder phenotype . cient, it was presumed that NFU1 acts as a chaperone No genotype–phenotype correlations could be made. Most dedicated to ISC incorporation in lipoic acid synthase, of the subjects harbored missense mutations. Insertions with complex I and complex II. Expression studies demon- frameshifts were also reported . strated ubiquitous expression of the protein, with highest The first described subjects were siblings born from consan- expression profiles in brain and heart, which is in paral- guineous parents presenting with intra-uterine growth retarda- lel with mitochondrial content . Missense [66–68] as tion, polyhydramnion and microcephaly. At birth, they were well as splice site variants [68–70] were reported. hypotonic and presented with signs of encephalopathy. They The first reported subjects presented with early onset had dysmorphic features, including retrognathia, high arched encephalopathy and fatal outcome before the age of 1 3 JBIC Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry (2018) 23:495–506 503 1 month . Ten other patients were reported with vari- complexes I and II. When tested, PDHC was also deficient, able age of onset (between one and 9 months), and fatal but mitochondrial aconitase was normal [66, 73]. outcome before the age of 15 months. This permitted a classification into three groups. In the first group, the NUBPL affected subjects presented with failure to thrive, pulmo- nary hypertension, hypotonia and irritability. Cerebral This protein is specifically dedicated to the incorporation MRI showed bilateral extensive white matter alterations. of [4Fe–4S] clusters into complex I, leading to exclusive Recently, another paper confirmed the severe clinical deficiency of complex I when NUBPL is deficient. Reported picture in two children aged three and 4 months . In patients were all heterozygous for exonic missense muta- a second group the affected individuals presented with tions, deletions or insertions leading to a frameshift and pulmonary hypertension and regression of acquired skills premature stop codon. One intronic mutation was found after an intercurrent infection. A third group, with the to be located at intron 9–10 introducing a cryptic acceptor mildest symptoms, showed only pulmonary hypertension splice site leading to the introduction of an additional 72 bp, and variable failure to thrive . Ahting et al. (2015) and finally resulting in a frameshift and nonsense mediated described seven other subjects. All of them had central decay. This allele was found in heterozygous state with a nervous system involvement with evolution into spastic complex genomic rearrangement detected in seven of the tetraparesis and a declining clinical condition. Four of reported subjects [74–76]. them suffered from pulmonary hypertension. One subject The first reported subjects had isolated encephalopathy had dilated cardiomyopathy which became fatal at the age . Another subject was described with progressive nys- of 3 years . Two individuals initially presented with tagmus, cerebellar ataxia and pyramidal tract signs in adult early onset decline evolving to a stable spastic tetraparesis life. Cerebral MRI in the latter showed hyperintense lesions or paraparesis at adult age [69, 72]. in the cerebellum, anterior mesencephalon and pyramidal The common feature for all reported subjects was an tract . increased serum glycine and defective lipoylation result- A group of six patients was identified based on their cer - ing in decreased activity of complex II and PDHC (pyru- ebral MRI findings, showing extensive signal abnormalities vate dehydrogenase complex). Biochemical testing was in the cerebellar cortex, deep cerebral white matter and cor- not performed in the two most recently published cases pus callosum. Interestingly, cerebral white matter and cor- . pus callosum abnormalities improved or even disappeared in the course of the disease, while cerebellar abnormalities BOLA3 became more extensive and abnormalities in the brainstem (basal pons and dorsal medulla oblongata) became visible. Most reported subjects developed neurological symptoms All subjects presented clinically with slow progression of at an early age, including seizures, leading to death before motor function and ataxia, and in the majority of them with the age of 1 year, together with cardiomyopathy. Optic spasticity. Intellectual capacities varied from normal to nerve atrophy was a variably occurring symptom [41, 66, severely impaired . 73]. When available, cerebral MRI showed various degrees When reported, lactate was increased in plasma and CSF of white matter alterations. Homozygous missense [41, 73] . All described patients showed deficient complex I and homozygous duplication leading to a frameshift with activity. premature a stop codon  have been reported. Only one subject had a milder presentation with slow- ing of development starting at the age of 6 months. Subse- Conclusion quently, a slowly progressive spasticity and ataxia, as well as loss of language skills between 3 and 8 years of age were Considering the strong evolutionary conservation of observed. Acute regression was seen at the age of 9 years iron–sulfur clusters and its biosynthetic pathway through- with recurrent status epilepticus and worsening of spastic- out eukaryotes, it is not surprising that deficiencies in this ity. This subject finally died at the age of 11 years and was synthesis pathway can cause severe impairment of cellular found to have only mild cerebral and cerebellar atrophy and functioning and affect the viability of affected organisms. no white matter changes . In this review we compiled the acquired knowledge on the Similar to NFU1 deficient subjects, increased lactate clinical and genetic features of ISC deficiencies. Strikingly, and glycine are a common feature of subjects with BOLA3 a strict definable ‘ISC biosynthesis deficiency’ phenotype deficiency, together with defective lipoylation. Similar to cannot be found. Most affected organs are the brain, result- NFU1 patients, the OXPHOS profile in cultured skin fibro- ing in developmental delay, epilepsy or regression, and blasts and skeletal muscle displayed a decreased activity of skeletal muscle involvement leading to muscle weakness. 1 3 504 JBIC Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry (2018) 23:495–506 architecture and acyl-ACP-ISD11 interactions. Proc Natl Acad Increased lactate and glycine in body fluids as well as ane- Sci USA 114(27):E5325–E5334 mia, eventually with the presence of sideroblasts, are possi- 11. Boniecki MT, Freibert SA, Mühlenhoff U, Lill R, Cygler M (2017) bly accompanying biochemical features associated with ISC Structure and functional dynamics of the mitochondrial Fe/S clus- dec fi iencies. This clinical and biochemical prol fi e, except for ter synthesis complex. Nat Commun 8(1):1287 12. Nordin A, Larsson E, Thornell L-E, Holmberg M (2011) Tissue- increased glycine, is reminiscent of the clinical characteris- specific splicing of ISCU results in skeletal muscle phenotype tics reported in the subjects with mitochondriopathies. The in myopathy with lactic acidosis, while complete loss of ISCU parallelism is not unexpected as three OXPHOS complexes results in early embryonic death in mice. Hum Genet 129:371–378 harbor iron–sulfur clusters that function as electron carrier. 13. 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JBIC Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 5, 2018
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