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J Hum Genet. 2000;45(6):337-41.

Two pathogenic point mutations exist in the authentic mitochondrial genome, not in the nuclear pseudogene.

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Department of Mental Retardation and Birth Defect Research, National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Kodaira, Tokyo, Japan.


Technical advancements in molecular genetics have shown various mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) abnormalities in patients with mitochondrial myopathies. Recently, it has been revealed that, in these patients, the nuclear DNA carries sequences similar to those of the mtDNA (nuclear pseudogene) and it has several point mutations previously reported to be pathogenic. We verified the existence of the T3250C and T3291C mutations, which we have found in patients with mitochondrial myopathy, in the authentic mitochondrial genome. A long polymerase chain reaction provides a powerful tool for avoiding nuclear pseudogene amplification and for ruling out ambiguity in the detection of the mutation for diagnosis.

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