IMR Press / FBS / Volume 16 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.31083/j.fbs1601007
Open Access Review
A Two-Genome Portrayal of Mitochondrial Disorders: A Review with Clinical Presentations
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1 Department of Pathology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, TX 79905, USA
*Correspondence: (Jude M. Abadie)
Front. Biosci. (Schol Ed) 2024, 16(1), 7;
Submitted: 21 December 2023 | Revised: 18 February 2024 | Accepted: 28 February 2024 | Published: 14 March 2024
Copyright: © 2024 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Disorders of mitochondrial function are responsible for many inherited neuromuscular and metabolic diseases. Their combination of high mortality, multi-systemic involvement, and economic burden cause devastating effects on patients and their families. Molecular diagnostic tools are becoming increasingly important in providing earlier diagnoses and guiding more precise therapeutic treatments for patients suffering from mitochondrial disorders. This review addresses fundamental molecular concepts relating to the pathogenesis of mitochondrial dysfunction and disorders. A series of short cases highlights the various clinical presentations, inheritance patterns, and pathogenic mutations in nuclear and mitochondrial genes that cause mitochondrial diseases. Graphical and tabular representations of the results are presented to guide the understanding of the important concepts related to mitochondrial molecular genetics and pathology. Emerging technology is incorporating preimplantation genetic testing for mtDNA disorders, while mitochondrial replacement shows promise in significantly decreasing the transfer of diseased mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) to embryos. Medical professionals must maintain an in-depth understanding of the gene mutations and molecular mechanisms underlying mitochondrial disorders. Continued diagnostic advances and comprehensive management of patients with mitochondrial disorders are essential to achieve robust clinical impacts from comprehensive genomic testing. This is especially true when supported by non-genetic tests such as biochemical analysis, histochemical stains, and imaging studies. Such a multi-pronged investigation should improve the management of mitochondrial disorders by providing accurate and timely diagnoses to reduce disease burden and improve the lives of patients and their families.

mitochondrial disorders
maternal inheritance
mitochondrial genome
Fig. 1.
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