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Science. 2000 Feb 4;287(5454):848-51.

Mutations in SDHD, a mitochondrial complex II gene, in hereditary paraganglioma.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2593, USA.


Hereditary paraganglioma (PGL) is characterized by the development of benign, vascularized tumors in the head and neck. The most common tumor site is the carotid body (CB), a chemoreceptive organ that senses oxygen levels in the blood. Analysis of families carrying the PGL1 gene, described here, revealed germ line mutations in the SDHD gene on chromosome 11q23. SDHD encodes a mitochondrial respiratory chain protein-the small subunit of cytochrome b in succinate-ubiquinone oxidoreductase (cybS). In contrast to expectations based on the inheritance pattern of PGL, the SDHD gene showed no evidence of imprinting. These findings indicate that mitochondria play an important role in the pathogenesis of certain tumors and that cybS plays a role in normal CB physiology.

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