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mtDNA Heteroplasmy in Monozygotic Twins Discordant for Schizophrenia
author: Li H, Bi R, Fan Y, Wu Y, Tang Y, Li Z, He Y, Zhou J, Tang J, Chen X, Yao YG

Although monozygotic (MZ) twins have theoretically identical nuclear DNA sequences, there may be phenotypic differences between them caused by somatic mutations and epigenetic changes affecting each genome. In this study, we collected eight families of MZ twins discordant for schizophrenia with the aim of investigating the potential role of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) heteroplasmy in causing the phenotypic differences between the twin pairs. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology was used to screen the whole mitochondrial genome of the twin pairs and their parents. The mtDNA heteroplasmy level was found to be nearly identical between the twin pairs but was distinctly different between each mother and their offspring. These results suggest that the discordance of schizophrenia between MZ twins may not be attributable to the difference in mtDNA heteroplasmy, and the high concordance of mtDNA heteroplasmy between MZ twins may indicate the relatively equal distribution of mtDNA during embryo separation of MZ twins and/or the modulation effect from the same nuclear genetic background. Furthermore, we observed an overrepresentation of heteroplasmy in noncoding regions and an elevated ratio of nonsynonymous heteroplasmy, suggesting the possible effects of a purifying selection in shaping the pattern of mtDNA heteroplasmy

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PubYear: 2017
Unit code: 152453
Publication name: Molecular Neurobiology
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