Multiple genetic loci have been reported for progeroid syndromes. However, the molecular defects in some extremely rare forms of progeria have yet to be elucidated. Here, we report a 21-year-old man of Chinese ancestry who has an autosomal recessive form of progeria, characterized by severe dwarfism, mandibular hypoplasia, hyperopia, and partial lipodystrophy. Analyses of exome sequencing data from the entire family revealed only 1 rare homozygous missense variant (c.86C>T; p.Pro29Leu) in TOMM7 in the proband, while the parents and 2 unaffected siblings were heterozygous for the variant. TOMM7, a nuclear gene, encodes a translocase in the outer mitochondrial membrane. The TOMM complex makes up the outer membrane pore, which is responsible for importing many preproteins into the mitochondria. A proteomic comparison of mitochondria from control and proband-derived cultured fibroblasts revealed an increase in abundance of several proteins involved in oxidative phosphorylation, as well as a reduction in abundance of proteins involved in phospholipid metabolism. We also observed elevated basal and maximal oxygen consumption rates in the fibroblasts from the proband as compared with control fibroblasts. We concluded that altered mitochondrial protein import due to biallelic loss-of-function TOMM7 can cause severe growth retardation and progeroid features.
Abhimanyu Garg, Wee-Teik Keng, Zhenkang Chen, Adwait Amod Sathe, Chao Xing, Pavithira Devi Kailasam, Yanqiu Shao, Nicholas P. Lesner, Claire B. Llamas, Anil K. Agarwal, Prashant Mishra