The electron-transfer flavoprotein dehydrogenase gene (ETFDH) that encodes the ETF-ubiquinone oxidoreductase (ETF-QO) has been reported to be the major cause of multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MADD). ETF-QO is an electron carrier that mainly functions in mitochondrial fatty acid β-oxidation and the delivery of electrons to the ubiquinone pool in the mitochondrial respiratory chain. A high frequency of c.250G>A has been found in Taiwanese patients with late-onset MADD. We postulated that the ETFDH c.250G>A mutation may concomitantly impair fatty acid β-oxidation and mitochondrial function. Using MADD patient-derived lymphoblastoid cells and specifically overexpressed ETFDH c.92C>T, c.250G>A, or coexisted c.92C>T and c.250G>A (c.92C>T + c.250G>A) mutated lymphoblastoid cells, we addressed the genotype-phenotype relationship of ETFDH variation in the pathogenesis of MADD. The decreased adenosine triphosphate synthesis, dissipated mitochondrial membrane potentials, reduced mitochondrial bioenergetics, and increased neutral lipid droplets and lipid peroxides were found in the MADD patient-derived lymphoblastoid cells. Riboflavin and/or coenzyme Q10 supplementation rescued cells from lipid droplet accumulation. All three mutant types, c.92C>T, c.250G>A, or c.92C>T + c.250G>A, had increased lipid droplet accumulation after treatment with palmitic acid. These results help to clarify the molecular pathogenesis of MADD as a result of the high frequency of the ETFDH c.250G>A and c.92C>T mutations.
Chokchaiwong, S., Kuo, Y.-T., Hsu, S.-P., Hsu, Y.-C., Lin, S.-H., Zhong, W.-B., … Kao, S.-H. (2019). ETF-QO Mutants Uncoupled Fatty Acid β-Oxidation and Mitochondrial Bioenergetics Leading to Lipid Pathology. Cells, 8(2), 106. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8020106