Mitochondrial DNA Depletion Syndrome 3

Clinical Characteristics
Ocular Features: 

Nystagmus, disconjugate eye movements, and "optic dysplasia" have been noted.

Systemic Features: 

Infants feed poorly which is frequently associated with vomiting, failure to thrive, and growth delay.  They are hypothermic, hypoglycemic, and often jaundiced with signs of liver failure noted between birth and 6 months of age and death by approximately 1 year of age.  Hepatosplenomegaly is present early with abnormal liver enzymes, cholestasis, steatosis, and hepatocellular loss followed by cirrhosis with portal hypertension.  Metabolic acidosis, hyperbilirubinemia, hypoalbuminemia, and hypoglycemia are often present.  Mitochondrial DNA depletion in the liver approaches 84-90%.

All patients have encephalopathic signs with evidence of cerebral atrophy, microcephaly, hypotonia.  Hyperreflexia may be present and some infants have seizures.  Muscle tissue, however, has normal histology and respiratory chain activity.


This disorder results from homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations in the DGUOK gene (2p13).

The same gene is mutated in PEOB4 (617070).

Treatment Options: 

There is no effective treatment.  Liver transplantation in one infant was unsuccessful.  

Article Title: 


Mancuso M, Ferraris S, Pancrudo J, Feigenbaum A, Raiman J, Christodoulou J, Thorburn DR, DiMauro S. New DGK gene mutations in the hepatocerebral form of mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. Arch Neurol. 2005 May;62(5):745-7.

PubMedID: 15883261

Mandel H, Szargel R, Labay V, Elpeleg O, Saada A, Shalata A, Anbinder Y, Berkowitz D, Hartman C, Barak M, Eriksson S, Cohen N. The deoxyguanosine kinase gene is mutated in individuals with depleted hepatocerebral mitochondrial DNA. Nat Genet. 2001 Nov;29(3):337-41. Erratum in: Nat Genet 2001 Dec;29(4):491.

PubMedID: 11687800