We determined the nucleotide sequences of junctional regions associated with large deletions of mitochondrial DNA found in four unrelated individuals with a phenotype of chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia. In each patient, the deletion breakpoint occurred within a directly repeated sequence of 13-18 base pairs, present in different regions of the normal mitochondrial genome - separated by 4.5-7.7 kilobases. In two patients, the deletions were identical. When all four repeated sequences are compared, a consensus sequence of 11 nucleotides emerges, similar to putative recombination signals, suggesting the involvement of a recombinational event. Partially deleted and normal mitochondrial DNAs were found in all tissues examined, but in very different proportions, indicating that these mutations originated before the primary cell layers diverged.
|Number of pages
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
|Published - 1989
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