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Abstract

Alpers' syndrome is a fatal neurogenetic disorder first described more than 70 years ago. It is an autosomal recessive, developmental mitochondrial DNA depletion disorder characterized by deficiency in mitochondrial DNA polymerase γ (POLG) catalytic activity, refractory seizures, neurodegeneration, and liver disease. In two unrelated pedigrees of Alpers' syndrome, each affected child was found to carry a homozygous mutation in exon 17 of the POLG locus that led to a Glu873Stop mutation just upstream of the polymerase domain of the protein. In addition, each affected child was heterozygous for the G1681A mutation in exon 7 that led to an Ala467Thr substitution in POLG, within the linker region of the protein. Ann Neurol 2004