CODAS syndrome is associated with mutations of LONP1, encoding mitochondrial AAA+ Lon protease

Strauss KA, Jinks RN, Puffenberger EG, Venkatesh S, Singh K, Cheng I, Mikita N, Thilagavathi J, Lee J, Sarafianos S, Benkert A, Koehler A, Zhu A, Trovillion V, McGlincy M, Morlet T, Deardorff M, Innes AM, Prasad C, Chudley AE, Lee IN, Suzuki CK

Am. J. Hum. Genet. 2015 Jan;96(1):121-35

PMID: 25574826


CODAS syndrome is a multi-system developmental disorder characterized by cerebral, ocular, dental, auricular, and skeletal anomalies. Using whole-exome and Sanger sequencing, we identified four LONP1 mutations inherited as homozygous or compound-heterozygous combinations among ten individuals with CODAS syndrome. The individuals come from three different ancestral backgrounds (Amish-Swiss from United States, n = 8; Mennonite-German from Canada, n = 1; mixed European from Canada, n = 1). LONP1 encodes Lon protease, a homohexameric enzyme that mediates protein quality control, respiratory-complex assembly, gene expression, and stress responses in mitochondria. All four pathogenic amino acid substitutions cluster within the AAA(+) domain at residues near the ATP-binding pocket. In biochemical assays, pathogenic Lon proteins show substrate-specific defects in ATP-dependent proteolysis. When expressed recombinantly in cells, all altered Lon proteins localize to mitochondria. The Old Order Amish Lon variant (LONP1 c.2161C>G[p.Arg721Gly]) homo-oligomerizes poorly in vitro. Lymphoblastoid cell lines generated from affected children have (1) swollen mitochondria with electron-dense inclusions and abnormal inner-membrane morphology; (2) aggregated MT-CO2, the mtDNA-encoded subunit II of cytochrome c oxidase; and (3) reduced spare respiratory capacity, leading to impaired mitochondrial proteostasis and function. CODAS syndrome is a distinct, autosomal-recessive, developmental disorder associated with dysfunction of the mitochondrial Lon protease.