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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 May;1787(5):533-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bbabio.2008.10.009. Epub 2008 Nov 10.

Isolated deficiencies of OXPHOS complexes I and IV are identified accurately and quickly by simple enzyme activity immunocapture assays.

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MitoSciences, Inc. Eugene, OR 97403, USA.


OXPHOS deficits are associated with most reported cases of inherited, degenerative and acquired mitochondrial disease. Traditional methods of measuring OXPHOS activities in patients provide valuable clinical information but require fifty to hundreds of milligrams of biopsy tissue samples in order to isolate mitochondria for analysis. We have worked to develop assays that require less sample and here report novel immunocapture assays (lateral flow dipstick immunoassays) to determine the activities of complexes I and IV, which are far and away the most commonly affected complexes in the class of OXPHOS diseases. These assays are extremely simple to perform, rapid (1-1.5 h) and reproducible with low intra-assay and inter-assay coefficients of variability (CVs) s (<10%). Importantly, there is no need to purify mitochondria as crude extracts of whole cells or tissues are suitable samples. Therefore, the assays allow use of samples obtained non-invasively such as cheek swabs and whole blood, which are not amenable to traditional mitochondrial purification and OXPHOS enzyme analysis. As a first step to assess clinical utility of these novel assays, they were used to screen a panel of cultured fibroblasts derived from patients with isolated deficiencies in complex I or IV caused by identified genetic defects. All patients (5/5) with isolated complex IV deficiencies were identified in this population. Similarly, almost all (22/24) patients with isolated complex I deficiencies were identified. We believe that this assay approach should find widespread utility in initial screening of patients suspected of having mitochondrial disease.

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