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J Hum Genet. 2002;47(11):594-604.

Asian-specific mtDNA backgrounds associated with the primary G11778A mutation of Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy.

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  • 1Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology, Jl. Diponegoro 69, Jakarta 10430, Indonesia.


We studied 19 patients of Southeast Asian (SEA) ethnic ancestry with Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) to investigate the mtDNA haplotypes associated with the primary mutation(s). Eighteen patients carried a mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) G11778A mutation (Arg340His in the respiratory complex I ND4 subunit), while one had a T14484C mutation (Met64Val in the ND6 subunit). One patient had a class II LHON mtDNA mutation, G3316A. Sequencing data of the ND genes showed many single-nucleotide polymorphisms (62 SNPs in 17 individuals; 10 LHON patients and 7 normal controls) not previously reported in Europeans or Japanese. The SEA G11778A LHON mutation was associated mostly with two mtDNA haplogroups, M (47%) and a novel lineage, characterized by the gain of a 10394 DdeI site but absence of the 10397 AluI site, designated BM (37%). A significant association was observed between one SNP, A10398G, resulting in a Thr114Ala substitution in the ND3 subunit, and the primary LHON mutation. This SNP also characterizes haplogroup J, with which the European LHON 11778 and 14484 mutations show preferential association. The combination of A10398G and other SNPs, specific for the haplogroups J, M, or BM, might act synergistically to increase the penetrance of the LHON mutations, thus allowing their detection.

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