Accessory subunit of the mitochondrial membrane respiratory chain NADH dehydrogenase (Complex I), that is believed not to be involved in catalysis. Complex I functions in the transfer of electrons from NADH to the respiratory chain. The immediate electron acceptor for the enzyme is believed to be ubiquinone.
Defects in NDUFA12 are the cause of Leigh syndrome (LS) [MIM:256000]. An early-onset progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the presence of focal, bilateral lesions in one or more areas of the central nervous system including the brainstem, thalamus, basal ganglia, cerebellum and spinal cord. Clinical features depend on which areas of the central nervous system are involved and include subacute onset of psychomotor retardation, hypotonia, ataxia, weakness, vision loss, eye movement abnormalities, seizures, and dysphagia.