Alpers-Huttenlocher syndrome (AHS) an autosomal recessive hepatocerebral syndrome of early onset, has been associated with mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) depletion and mutations in polymerase gamma gene (POLG). We have identified POLG mutations in four patients with hepatocerebral syndrome and mtDNA depletion in liver, who fulfilled criteria for AHS. All were compound heterozygous for the G848S and W748S mutations, previously reported in patients with progressive external ophtalmoplegia or ataxia. We conclude that AHS should be included in the clinical spectrum of mtDNA depletion and is often associated with POLG mutations, which can cause either multiple mtDNA deletions or mtDNA depletion.
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