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Pubmed ID :18619472
Publication Date : //

Strikingly different penetrance of LHON in two Chinese families with primary mutation G11778A is independent of mtDNA haplogroup background and secondary mutation G13708A.


The penetrance of Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) in families with primary mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations is very complex. Matrilineal and nuclear genetic background, as well as environmental factors, have been reported to be involved in different affected pedigrees. Here we describe two large Chinese families that show a striking difference in the penetrance of LHON, in which 53.3% and 15.0% of members were affected (P<0.02), respectively. Analysis of the complete mtDNA genome of the two families revealed the presence of the primary mutation G11778A and several other variants suggesting the same haplogroup status G2a. The family with higher penetrance contained a previously described secondary mutation G13708A, which presents a polymorphism in normal Chinese samples and does not affect in vivo mitochondrial oxidative metabolism as described in a previous study. Evolutionary analysis failed to indicate any putatively pathogenic mutation that cosegregated with G11778A in these two pedigrees. Our results suggest that the variable penetrance of LHON in the two Chinese families is independent of both their mtDNA haplotype background and a secondary mutation G13708A. As a result, it is likely that unknown nuclear gene involvement and/or other factors contribute to the strikingly different penetrance of LHON.

Authors : Wang Hua-Wei , Jia Xiaoyun , Ji Yanli , Kong Qing-Peng , Zhang Qingjiong , Yao Yong-Gang , Zhang Ya-Ping ,

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