Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Mutations in VHL, which encodes von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor (VHL), are associated with divergent diseases. We describe a patient with marked erythrocytosis and prominent mitochondrial alterations associated with a severe germline VHL deficiency due to homozygosity for a novel synonymous mutation (c.222C→A, p.V74V). The condition is characterized by early systemic onset and differs from Chuvash polycythemia (c.598C→T) in that it is associated with a strongly reduced growth rate, persistent hypoglycemia, and limited exercise capacity. We report changes in gene expression that reprogram carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, impair muscle mitochondrial respiratory function, and uncouple oxygen consumption from ATP production. Moreover, we identified unusual intermitochondrial connecting ducts. Our findings add unexpected information on the importance of the VHL-hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) axis to human phenotypes. (Funded by Associazione Italiana Ricerca sul Cancro and others.).

Original publication




Journal article


N Engl J Med

Publication Date





835 - 844


Gene Expression, Germ-Line Mutation, Growth, Growth Disorders, Humans, Hypoglycemia, Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, Male, Metabolome, Mitochondria, Syndrome, Von Hippel-Lindau Tumor Suppressor Protein, Young Adult