DLAT gene encodes component E2 of the multi-enzyme pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC). PDC is located in the inner mitochondrial membrane and catalyzes the conversion of pyruvate to acetyl coenzyme A. The protein product of this gene, dihydrolipoamide acetyltransferase, takes acetyl groups created by the oxidative decarboxylation of pyruvate and transfers them to coenzyme A. Dihydrolipoamide acetyltransferase is the antigen for antimitochondrial antibodies which are found in about 95% of patients with the autoimmune liver disease primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC). In patients who suffer from this illness, activated T lymphocytes attack and destroy epithelial cells in the bile duct where this protein is abnormally distributed and overexpressed. PBC ultimately leads to cirrhosis and liver failure. Mutations in DLAT are also a cause of pyruvate dehydrogenase E2 deficiency which causes primary lactic acidosis in infancy and early childhood.