Applications of the method of high resolution melting analysis for diagnosis of Leber's disease and the three primary mutation spectrum of LHON in the Han Chinese population

Gene. 2013 Jan 1;512(1):108-12. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2012.09.110. Epub 2012 Oct 9.


Current screening methods, such as single strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP), denaturing high performance liquid chromatography (dHPLC) and direct DNA sequencing that are used for detecting mutation in Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) subjects are time consuming and costly. Here we tested high-resolution melt (HRM) analysis for mtDNA primary mutations in LHON patients. In this study, we applied the high resolution melting (HRM) technology to screen mtDNA primary mutations in 50 LHON patients from their peripheral blood. In order to evaluate the reliability of this technique, we compared the results obtained by HRM and direct mtDNA sequencing. We also investigated the spectrum of three most common mtDNA mutations implicated in LHON in the Han Chinese population. The results showed HRM analysis differentiated all of the mtDNA primary mutations and identified 4 additional mtDNA mutations from 50 patients in the blind study. The prevalence of three primary mutations were 11778G>A (87.9%), 14484T>C (6.5%) and 3460G>A (1.7%) in the Han Chinese population. In conclusion, HRM analysis is a rapid, reliable, and low-cost tool for detecting mtDNA primary mutations and has practical applications in molecular genetics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asian People / genetics*
  • China
  • DNA Mutational Analysis / methods
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics
  • Humans
  • Mutation*
  • Nucleic Acid Denaturation
  • Optic Atrophy, Hereditary, Leber / diagnosis*
  • Optic Atrophy, Hereditary, Leber / genetics*
  • Point Mutation
  • Transition Temperature


  • DNA, Mitochondrial