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Am J Med Genet A. 2003 Jun 1;119A(2):147-51.

Low penetrance of the 14484 LHON mutation when it arises in a non-haplogroup J mtDNA background.

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  • 1MitoKor, San Diego, California 92121, USA.


The penetrance in Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) pedigrees is determined primarily by a mutation in the mitochondrial genome (mtDNA), but secondary factors are also necessary for manifestation of the disorder. It has been proposed that mtDNA polymorphisms affect penetrance in LHON pedigrees. In particular, it has been postulated that one or more polymorphisms associated with European haplogroup J mtDNAs substantially increase the penetrance of the primary LHON mutation at nucleotide 14484. We report here a haplogroup H matrilineal pedigree (VIC14) in which the single affected member carries the 14484 LHON mutation, but who manifested a milder and atypical optic nerve disorder. In addition, during a population screen, we identified an individual who carried the 14484 mutation but who had normal vision. Finally, the 14484 mutation is under-represented among haplogroup H mtDNAs that carry a LHON mutation. These results, in conjunction with other studies that are reviewed, indicate that 14484 LHON mutations have a low penetrance when they arise in a haplogroup H mtDNA background.

Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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