Mitochondria are major contributors to ATP synthesis, generating more than 90% of the total cellular energy production through oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS): Metabolite oxidation, such as the β-oxidation of fatty acids, and the Krebs’s cycle. OXPHOS inadequacy due to large genetic lesions in mitochondrial as well as nuclear genes and homo- or heteroplasmic point mutations in mitochondrially encoded genes is a characteristic of heterogeneous, maternally inherited genetic disorders known as mitochondrial disorders that affect multisystemic tissues and organs with high energy requirements, resulting in various signs and symptoms. Several traditional diagnostic approaches, including magnetic resonance imaging of the brain, cardiac testing, biochemical screening, variable heteroplasmy genetic testing, identifying clinical features, and skeletal muscle biopsies, are associated with increased risks, high costs, a high degree of false-positive or false-negative results, or a lack of precision, which limits their diagnostic abilities for mitochondrial disorders. Variable heteroplasmy levels, mtDNA depletion, and the identification of pathogenic variants can be detected through genetic sequencing, including the gold standard Sanger sequencing. However, sequencing can be time consuming, and Sanger sequencing can result in the missed recognition of larger structural variations such as CNVs or copy-number variations. Although each sequencing method has its own limitations, genetic sequencing can be an alternative to traditional diagnostic methods. The ever-growing roster of possible mutations has led to the development of next-generation sequencing (NGS). The enhancement of NGS methods can offer a precise diagnosis of the mitochondrial disorder within a short period at a reasonable expense for both research and clinical applications.
- Mitochondrial disorder