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Genetics Home Reference: MPV17-related hepatocerebral mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome

Posted Feb 06 2013 1:54pm
Reviewed January 2013

What is MPV17-related hepatocerebral mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome?

MPV17-related hepatocerebral mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome is an inherited disorder that can cause liver disease and neurological problems. The signs and symptoms of this condition begin in infancy and typically include vomiting, diarrhea, and an inability to grow or gain weight at the expected rate (failure to thrive). Many affected infants have a buildup of a chemical called lactic acid in the body (lactic acidosis) and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Within the first weeks of life, infants develop liver disease that quickly progresses to liver failure. The liver is frequently enlarged (hepatomegaly) and liver cells often have a reduced ability to release a digestive fluid called bile (cholestasis). Rarely, affected children develop liver cancer. After the onset of liver disease, many affected infants develop neurological problems, which can include developmental delay, weak muscle tone (hypotonia), and reduced sensation in the limbs (peripheral neuropathy). Individuals with MPV17-related hepatocerebral mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome typically survive only into infancy or early childhood.

MPV17-related hepatocerebral mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome is most frequently seen in the Navajo population of the southwestern United States. In this population, the condition is known as Navajo neurohepatopathy. People with Navajo neurohepatopathy tend to have a longer life expectancy than those with MPV17-related hepatocerebral mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. In addition to the signs and symptoms described above, people with Navajo neurohepatopathy may have problems with sensing pain that can lead to painless bone fractures and self-mutilation of the fingers or toes. Individuals with Navajo neurohepatopathy may lack feeling in the clear front covering of the eye (corneal anesthesia), which can lead to open sores and scarring on the cornea, resulting in impaired vision. The cause of these additional features is unknown.

How common is MPV17-related hepatocerebral mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome?

MPV17-related hepatocerebral mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome is thought to be a rare condition. Approximately 30 cases have been described in the scientific literature, including seven families with Navajo neurohepatopathy. Within the Navajo Nation of the southwestern United States, Navajo neurohepatopathy is estimated to occur in 1 in 1,600 newborns.

What genes are related to MPV17-related hepatocerebral mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome?

As the condition name suggests, mutations in the MPV17 gene cause MPV17-related hepatocerebral mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. The protein produced from the MPV17 gene is located in the inner membrane of cell structures called mitochondria. Mitochondria are involved in a wide variety of cellular activities, including energy production, chemical signaling, and regulation of cell growth, division, and death. Mitochondria contain their own DNA, known as mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which is essential for the normal function of these structures. It is likely that the MPV17 protein is involved in the maintenance of mtDNA. Having an adequate amount of mtDNA is essential for normal energy production within cells.

MPV17 gene mutations that cause MPV17-related hepatocerebral mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome lead to production of a protein with impaired function. One mutation causes all cases of Navajo neurohepatopathy and results in the production of an unstable MPV17 protein that is quickly broken down. A dysfunctional or absent MPV17 protein leads to problems with the maintenance of mtDNA, which can cause a reduction in the amount of mtDNA (known as mitochondrial DNA depletion). Mitochondrial DNA depletion impairs mitochondrial function in many of the body's cells and tissues, particularly the brain, liver, and other tissues that have high energy requirements. Reduced mitochondrial function in the liver and brain lead to the liver failure and neurological dysfunction associated with MPV17-related hepatocerebral mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. Researchers suggest that the less mtDNA that is available in cells, the more severe the features of Navajo neurohepatopathy.

Read more about the MPV17 gene.

How do people inherit MPV17-related hepatocerebral mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome?

This condition is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern, which means both copies of the gene in each cell have mutations. The parents of an individual with an autosomal recessive condition each carry one copy of the mutated gene, but they typically do not show signs and symptoms of the condition.

Where can I find information about diagnosis or management of MPV17-related hepatocerebral mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome?

These resources address the diagnosis or management of MPV17-related hepatocerebral mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome and may include treatment providers.

You might also find information on the diagnosis or management of MPV17-related hepatocerebral mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome in Educational resources and Patient support .

General information about the diagnosis and management of genetic conditions is available in the Handbook.

To locate a healthcare provider, see How can I find a genetics professional in my area? in the Handbook.

Where can I find additional information about MPV17-related hepatocerebral mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome?

You may find the following resources about MPV17-related hepatocerebral mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome helpful. These materials are written for the general public.

You may also be interested in these resources, which are designed for healthcare professionals and researchers.

What other names do people use for MPV17-related hepatocerebral mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome?

  • mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome 6
  • MPV17-associated hepatocerebral MDS
  • MTDPS6
  • Navajo familial neurogenic arthropathy
  • Navajo neurohepatopathy
  • Navajo neuropathy
  • NNH

For more information about naming genetic conditions, see the Genetics Home Reference Condition Naming Guidelines and How are genetic conditions and genes named? in the Handbook.

What if I still have specific questions about MPV17-related hepatocerebral mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome?

Where can I find general information about genetic conditions?

What glossary definitions help with understanding MPV17-related hepatocerebral mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome?

acidosis  ; acids  ; autosomal  ; autosomal recessive  ; bile  ; cancer  ; cell  ; cornea  ; depletion  ; developmental delay  ; digestive  ; DNA  ; failure to thrive  ; familial  ; gene  ; hypoglycemia  ; hypotonia  ; lactic acid  ; lactic acidosis  ; liver cancer  ; liver failure  ; mitochondria  ; muscle tone  ; mutation  ; neurological  ; neuropathy  ; peripheral  ; peripheral neuropathy  ; population  ; protein  ; recessive  ; sign  ; symptom  ; syndrome  ; tissue

You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary .

See also Understanding Medical Terminology .

References (5 links)

 

The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? in the Handbook.

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