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J Inherit Metab Dis. 1999 Dec;22(8):899-914.

Mitochondrial DNA mutations at nucleotide 8993 show a lack of tissue- or age-related variation.

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Murdoch Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.


Two pathogenic mitochondrial DNA mutations, a T-to-G substitution (8993T > G) and a T-to-C substitution (8993T > C), at nucleotide 8993 have been reported. We describe 13 pedigrees with mitochondrial DNA mutations at nucleotide 8993; 10 pedigrees with the 8993T > G mutation and three with the 8993T > C mutation. Prenatal diagnosis of the nucleotide 8993 mutations is technically possible. However, there are three major concerns: (i) that there is variation in mutant loads among tissues; (ii) that the mutant load in a tissue may change over time; and (iii) that the genotype-phenotype correlation is not clearly understood. We have used the 13 pedigrees to determine specifically the extent of tissue- and age-related variation of the two mutations at nucleotide 8993 in the mitochondrial DNA. The tissue variation was investigated by analysing two or more different tissues from a total of 18 individuals. The age-related variation of the mutation was investigated by comparing the amount of both mutations in blood taken at birth and at a later age. No substantial tissue variation was found, nor was there any substantial change in the proportion of either mutation over periods of 8-23 years in the four individuals studied. In addition, we noted that two features were remarkably common in families with nucleotide 8993 mutations, namely (i) unexplained infant death (8 cases in 13 pedigrees); and (ii) de novo mutations (5 of the 10 8993T > G pedigrees).

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