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PLoS One. 2010 Dec 20;5(12):e15687. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0015687.

Sequence homology at the breakpoint and clinical phenotype of mitochondrial DNA deletion syndromes.

Author information

1
Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States of America.

Abstract

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) deletions are a common cause of mitochondrial disorders. Large mtDNA deletions can lead to a broad spectrum of clinical features with different age of onset, ranging from mild mitochondrial myopathies (MM), progressive external ophthalmoplegia (PEO), and Kearns-Sayre syndrome (KSS), to severe Pearson syndrome. The aim of this study is to investigate the molecular signatures surrounding the deletion breakpoints and their association with the clinical phenotype and age at onset. MtDNA deletions in 67 patients were characterized using array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) followed by PCR-sequencing of the deletion junctions. Sequence homology including both perfect and imperfect short repeats flanking the deletion regions were analyzed and correlated with clinical features and patients' age group. In all age groups, there was a significant increase in sequence homology flanking the deletion compared to mtDNA background. The youngest patient group (<6 years old) showed a diffused pattern of deletion distribution in size and locations, with a significantly lower sequence homology flanking the deletion, and the highest percentage of deletion mutant heteroplasmy. The older age groups showed rather discrete pattern of deletions with 44% of all patients over 6 years old carrying the most common 5 kb mtDNA deletion, which was found mostly in muscle specimens (22/41). Only 15% (3/20) of the young patients (<6 years old) carry the 5 kb common deletion, which is usually present in blood rather than muscle. This group of patients predominantly (16 out of 17) exhibit multisystem disorder and/or Pearson syndrome, while older patients had predominantly neuromuscular manifestations including KSS, PEO, and MM. In conclusion, sequence homology at the deletion flanking regions is a consistent feature of mtDNA deletions. Decreased levels of sequence homology and increased levels of deletion mutant heteroplasmy appear to correlate with earlier onset and more severe disease with multisystem involvement.

PMID:
21187929
PMCID:
PMC3004954
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0015687
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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