Heteroplasmy variability in individuals with biparentally inherited mitochondrial DNA [article]

Jesse Slone, Weiwei Zou, Shiyu Luo, Eric S Schmitt, Stella Maris Chen, Xinjian Wang, Jenice Brown, Meghan Bromwell, Yin-Hsiu Chien, Wuh-Liang Hwu, Pi-Chuan Fan, Ni-Chung Lee (+3 others)
2020 bioRxiv   pre-print
With very few exceptions, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in humans is transmitted exclusively from mothers to their offspring, suggesting the presence of a strong evolutionary pressure favoring the exclusion of paternal mtDNA. We have recently shown strong evidence of paternal mtDNA transmission. In these rare situations, males exhibiting biparental mtDNA appear to be limited to transmitting just one of the mtDNA species to their offspring, while females possessing biparental mtDNA populations
more » ... tently transmit both populations to their offspring at a very similar heteroplasmy level. The precise biological and genetic factors underlying this unusual transmission event remain unclear. Here, we have examined heteroplasmy levels in various tissues among individuals with biparental inheritance. Our results indicate that individuals with biparental mtDNA have remarkable inter-tissue variability in heteroplasmy level. At the single-cell level, paternal mtDNA heteroplasmy in sperm varies dramatically, and many sperm possess only one of the two mtDNA populations originally in question. These results show a fundamental, parent-of-origin difference in how mtDNA molecules transmit and propagate. This helps explain how a single population of mtDNAs are transmitted from a father possessing two populations of mtDNA molecules, suggesting that some mtDNA populations may be favored over others when transmitted from the father.
doi:10.1101/2020.02.26.939405 fatcat:psfiag7tgja2phni4gvfmqncma