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Exploring the role of mtDNA variation in Multiple Sclerosis in a large cohort of discordant monozygotic twins

Several lines of evidence indicate that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variants might predispose to multiple sclerosis (MS). We examined this in 49 monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs clinically discordant for MS at study entry. Since the nuclear DNA of MZ twins is identical, our study provides a unique setting to functionally associate unique mtDNA variants and skewed heteroplasmy with MS development. In order to identify mtDNA variants in the twin cohort, we deeply sequenced the mitochondrial genome in blood of all 49 MZ twin pairs using next generation sequencing (Illumina, HiSeq or MiSeq) with an average coverage depth of ~25,000 sequences per base. Heteroplasmic variants were validated using targeted deep sequencing (TDS) (Illumina, MiSeq) in DNA isolated from blood and buccal swabs. In addition, whole blood was also available of 5 additional MS-affected or healthy siblings and 1 dizygotic twin pair discordant for MS, comprising in total 6 non-identical sib pairs. Moreover, all cases were screened for pathogenic mtDNA polymerase gamma (POLG) mutations. The data provides valuable insights in the possible involvement of mtDNA variants in the pathogenesis of MS, and gives information on the segregation of heteroplasmic variants within MZ twins and non-identical siblings and across different tissues.

Click on a Dataset ID in the table below to learn more, and to find out who to contact about access to these data

Dataset ID Description Technology Samples
EGAD00001002188 Illumina HiSeq 2500 105
EGAD00001002189 Illumina MiSeq 54
EGAD00001002190 Illumina MiSeq 140
Publications Citations
Mitochondrial DNA Variation and Heteroplasmy in Monozygotic Twins Clinically Discordant for Multiple Sclerosis.
Hum Mutat 37: 2016 765-775