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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Characterization of the mitochondrial genome in childhood multiple sclerosis. II. Multiple sclerosis without optic neuritis and LHON-associated genes.

The occurrence of mitochondrial mutations with primary pathogenic significance for Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy in patients with a multiple sclerosis-like phenotype and the preferential maternal transmission points to an involvement of the mitochondrial genome in conferring increased susceptibility to MS. To evaluate the link between MS and mtDNA variations we investigated a total of thirteen children with MS as well as twenty controls by sequencing eight mitochondrial encoded genes which are known to be the loci for LHON-associated mutations. Numerous synonymous nucleotide substitutions and common polymorphisms were excluded from comparative analyses. No primary LHON mutations were found. Secondary LHON mutations were identified more frequently in control subjects than in the children with MS. The remaining eight discrete missense mutations were chosen for further characterization. Only two of them were found in more than one patient. Our results suggest that nucleotide substitutions within the ND1, ND2, ND4, ND5, ND6, COI, COIII or cytochrome b genes of mtDNA do not contribute to the etiology of typical MS. However, the association of LHON mutations with visual impairment in MS as well as the relationship between phenotypic diversity in certain subgroups of patients with individual mtDNA genotypes merits further investigations.[1]


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