Effects of Germline VHL Deficiency on Growth, Metabolism, and Mitochondria.
Perrotta S., Roberti D., Bencivenga D., Corsetto P., O'Brien KA., Caiazza M., Stampone E., Allison L., Fleck RA., Scianguetta S., Tartaglione I., Robbins PA., Casale M., West JA., Franzini-Armstrong C., Griffin JL., Rizzo AM., Sinisi AA., Murray AJ., Borriello A., Formenti F., Della Ragione F.
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.).