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Journal Article

Inheritance and expression of mitochondrial DNA point mutations


Larsson,  N.G.
Department Larsson - Mitochondrial Biology, Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing, Max Planck Society;

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Holme, E., Tulinius, M. H., Larsson, N., & Oldfors, A. (1995). Inheritance and expression of mitochondrial DNA point mutations. Biochim Biophys Acta, 1271(1), 249-52.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000B-6FDD-1
An important feature of the mitochondrial genom is the occurrence of heteroplasmy and the possibility for transmission to the offspring of various proportions of wild-type and mutated mtDNA. We have investigated the proportion of the tRNALys A8344G mutation, the tRNALeu(UUR) A3243G mutation, and the ATPase 6 T8993G mutation in patients with MERRF, MELAS, and Leigh's syndrome and their maternal relatives. The level of mutated mtDNA in the offspring of carriers of the tRNALys mutation is correlated to the level in lymphocytes in the mother and seems to be transmitted by an essentially random mechanism where only a few mtDNA copies are founders of the mitochondrial genom in the offspring and the probability that the mutation is not transmitted to the offspring is high when the mothers carriers predominantly wild-type mtDNA. However, we found age-related differences in the distribution of mutated mtDNA in carriers of the tRNALys and tRNALeu mutations, which have to be considered before levels of mutated mtDNA are used for prediction of prognosis and transmission of a disorder.