Phenotypic, molecular, and functional characterization of COQ7-related primary CoQ10 deficiency: Hypomorphic variants and two distinct disease entities

Parith Wongkittichote, Maria Laura Duque Lasio, Martina Magistrati, Sheel Pathak, Brooke Sample, Daniel Rocha Carvalho, Adriana Banzzatto Ortega, Matheus Augusto Araújo Castro, Claudio M. de Gusmao, Tomi L. Toler, Emanuele Bellacchio, Cristina Dallabona, Marwan Shinawi

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5 Scopus citations


Primary coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) deficiency is a group of inborn errors of metabolism caused by defects in CoQ10 biosynthesis. Biallelic pathogenic variants in COQ7, encoding mitochondrial 5-demethoxyubiquinone hydroxylase, have been reported in nine patients from seven families. We identified five new patients with COQ7-related primary CoQ10 deficiency, performed clinical assessment of the patients, and studied the functional effects of current and previously reported COQ7 variants and potential treatment options. The main clinical features included a neonatal-onset presentation with severe neuromuscular, cardiorespiratory and renal involvement and a late-onset disease presenting with progressive neuropathy, lower extremity weakness, abnormal gait, and variable developmental delay. Baker's yeast orthologue of COQ7, CAT5, is required for growth on oxidative carbon sources and cat5Δ strain demonstrates oxidative growth defect. Expression of wild-type CAT5 could completely rescue the defect; however, yeast CAT5 harboring equivalent human pathogenic variants could not. Interestingly, cat5Δ yeast harboring p.Arg57Gln (equivalent to human p.Arg54Gln), p.Arg112Trp (equivalent to p.Arg107Trp), p.Ile69Asn (equivalent to p.Ile66Asn) and combination of p.Lys108Met and p.Leu116Pro (equivalent to the complex allele p.[Thr103Met;Leu111Pro]) partially rescued the growth defects, indicating these variants are hypomorphic alleles. Supplementation with 2,4 dihydroxybenzoic acid (2,4-diHB) rescued the growth defect of both the leaky and severe mutants. Overexpression of COQ8 and 2,4-diHB supplementation synergistically restored oxidative growth and respiratory defect. Overall, we define two distinct disease presentations of COQ7-related disorder with emerging genotype-phenotype correlation and validate the use of the yeast model for functional studies of COQ7 variants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107630
JournalMolecular genetics and metabolism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • Functional study
  • Hereditary neuropathy
  • Mitochondrial disorder
  • Primary CoQ10 deficiency
  • Yeast model


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