RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Mutation screening of mitochondrial DNA as well as OPA1 and OPA3 in a Chinese cohort with suspected hereditary optic atrophy.

PURPOSE: Leber's hereditary optic atrophy (LHON) and autosomal dominant optic atrophy (DOA) are the two most common forms. The objective of this study was to define the fractional prevalence of LHON and DOA in a cohort of Chinese patients with suspected hereditary optic neuropathy.

METHODS: We recruited 520 unrelated patients with bilateral optic atrophy for genetic analysis: 174 patients had a positive family history of visual failure and 346 were sporadic cases. A total of 14 primary LHON-causing mtDNA mutations was screened by PCR-based sequencing methods for all patients except the individuals with a paternal family history. All coding exons and exon-intron boundaries of the OPA1 and OPA3 gene were screened for mutations by PCR-based DNA sequencing for all patients with paternal family history and for the LHON-negative patients. A large genomic DNA arrangement of the OPA1 gene was detected further by multiplex ligation probe amplification (MLPA) assay for the patients with paternal family history, but results were negative for the OPA1 and OPA3 mutation screenings.

RESULTS: We found molecular defects in 323 (62%) of the 520 probands screened. Among these, 271 patients (83.9%) had an mtDNA mutation, 50 patients (15.5%) carried an OPA1 mutation, and 2 patients (0.6%) had an OPA3 mutation. Coexistence m.3460 G>A and m.11778G>A was found in one patient. We identified 40 intragenic mutations and six large genomic DNA arrangements of the OPA1 gene, 23 of which were novel.

CONCLUSIONS: The LHON-mtDNA mutations are the most common genetic defects, followed by the OPA1 mutations, in this Chinese cohort.

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