Increased mtDNA Abundance and Improved Function in Human Barth Syndrome Patient Fibroblasts Following AAV-TAZ Gene Delivery

Silveli Suzuki-Hatano, Mughil Sriramvenugopal, Manash Ramanathan, Meghan Soustek, Barry J Byrne, W Todd Cade, Peter B Kang, Christina A Pacak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Barth syndrome (BTHS) is a rare, X-linked, mitochondrial disorder caused by mutations in the gene encoding tafazzin. BTHS results in cardiomyopathy, muscle fatigue, and neutropenia in patients. Tafazzin is responsible for remodeling cardiolipin, a key structural lipid of the inner mitochondrial membrane. As symptoms can vary in severity amongst BTHS patients, we sought to compare mtDNA copy numbers, mitochondrial fragmentation, and functional parameters between primary dermal BTHS fibroblasts isolated from patients with two different mutations in the TAZ locus. To confirm cause‒effect relationships and further support the development of gene therapy for BTHS, we also characterized the BTHS cells following adeno-associated virus (AAV)-TAZ transduction. Our data show that, in response to AAV-TAZ transduction, these remarkably dynamic organelles show recovery of mtDNA copy numbers, mitochondrial structure, and mitochondrial function, providing additional evidence to support the therapeutic potential of AAV-mediated gene delivery for BTHS. This study also demonstrates the direct relationship between healthy mitochondrial membrane structure and maintenance of proper levels of mtDNA copy numbers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 11 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Barth Syndrome/genetics
  • DNA Fragmentation
  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Dependovirus/genetics
  • Exons
  • Fibroblasts/metabolism
  • Gene Dosage
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Transcription Factors/genetics

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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