We established an extensive and rapid system using suspension array to detect 61 representative mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) heteroplasmic or homoplasmic point mutations (29 for Series A and 32 for Series B) in 22 genes: 1 each in MT-RNR1, -TV, -ND1, -TQ, -TW, -TC, and -TH genes; 2 each in MT-TN, -TG, -ND4, -TL2, -TE, and -CYB genes; 3 each in MT-ATP6, -ND3, and -ND5 genes; 4 each in MT-CO1 and -TK genes; 5 each in MT-TI, -TS1, and -ND6 genes; and 10 in the MT-TL1 gene. We carefully selected 5'-biotinylated primers and pooled primers for use in two sets of multiplex-PCR amplifications. To detect both mutant and wild-type mtDNA, even when polymorphisms were present near the target mutation sites, we designed specific oligonucleotide probes. By using the mtDNA point mutation detection system of Series A (29 mutations) and Series B (32 mutations), we screened a total of 3103 mutant sites in 107 DNA samples for Series A and 13,101 mutant sites in 397 DNA samples for Series B. We succeeded in determining 99.4% (Series A) and 99.6% (Series B) of the targeted mutant sites by use of the system. The 22 samples with the m.3243A>G heteroplasmic mutation revealed positive signals with both mutant- and wild-type-specific probes in this detection system with a detection limit of approximately 2%. This genetic screening platform is useful to reach a definitive diagnosis for mitochondrial diseases.
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