Schizophrenia-associated mt-DNA SNPs exhibit highly variable haplogroup affiliation and nuclear ancestry: Bi-genomic dependence raises major concerns for link to disease

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  • Christian M. Hagen
  • Vanessa F. Gonçalves
  • Paula L. Hedley
  • Jonas Bybjerg-Grauholm
  • Marie Bækvad-Hansen
  • Christine S. Hansen
  • Kanters, Jørgen K.
  • Jimmi Nielsen
  • Ole Mors
  • Alfonso B. Demur
  • Thomas D. Als
  • Nordentoft, Merete
  • Anders Børglum
  • Preben B. Mortensen
  • James Kennedy
  • Werge, Thomas
  • David M. Hougaard
  • Michael Christiansen

Mitochondria play a significant role in human diseases. However, disease associations with mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) SNPs have proven difficult to replicate. An analysis of eight schizophrenia-associated mtDNA SNPs, in 23,743 Danes without a psychiatric diagnosis and 2,538 schizophrenia patients, revealed marked inter-allelic differences in mitochondrial haplogroup affiliation and nuclear ancestry. This bi-genomic dependence could entail population stratification. Only two mitochondrial SNPs, m.15043A and m.15218G, were significantly associated with schizophrenia. However, these associations disappeared when corrected for haplogroup affiliation and nuclear ancestry. The extensive bi-genomic dependence documented here is a major concern when interpreting historic, as well as designing future, mtDNA association studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0208828
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

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