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Complete sequence analysis of mitochondrial DNA of aplastic anemia patients

Author(s): X. Cui, F. Liu, J.Q. Wang, W.J. Zhang, J.Y. Wang, K. Liu, S.Y. Cui, J. Zhang and R.R. Xu

This study was primarily undertaken to test the hypothesis that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations may be associated with aplastic anemia (AA). We analyzed mtDNA sequences from 15 patients with AA. The samples were obtained from bone marrow, and patients’ oral epithelial cells were collected for normal tissue comparison. Total DNA was amplified by PCR after extraction, and these segments were then sent for sequencing. The results were compared with those of oral epithelial tissues as well as mtDNA sequences in the revised Cambridge Reference Sequence (rCRS) database. We detected 61 heteroplasmic mutations in 11 genes, including those encoding NADH dehydrogenase (ND)1-2 and 4-6, tRNA glutamic acid (TRNE), ribosomal RNA (RNR) 1 and 2, cytochrome c oxidase (COX1), cytochrome b (CYTB), and tRNA glycine (TRNG); mutation rates were particularly high in ND2(34.4%) and ND4 (21.3%) in the patients’ mtDNA genomes. The products of these genes are involved in oxidation in the respiratory chain, and a large number of homoplasmic mutations were found. Interestingly, these 162 polymorphisms were mostly in the D-loop DNA structure (54.3%), in which numerous mutations associated with leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes are found. We conclude that functional impairment of the mitochondrial respiratory chain induced by mutation may be an important reason for hematopoietic failure in AA patients.