Optimization of a genotyping screening based on hydrolysis probes to detect the main mutations related to Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON)

Mol Vis. 2017 Jul 21:23:495-503. eCollection 2017.


Purpose: Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) is a mitochondrial inherited disease characterized by bilateral vision problems, such as reduced visual acuity, dyschromatopsia, and central or centrocecal scotoma. Of these cases, 95% are caused by three mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA): m.G11778A, followed by m.T14484C and m.G3460A. The remaining 5% of cases of LHON are caused by rare mutations also present in mtDNA. Although conventional molecular tools for molecular screening of LHON are becoming popular, in most cases these tools are still expensive and time-consuming and are difficult to reproduce. Therefore, to meet the need for more accurate, faster, and cheaper techniques for molecular screening, as well as make it more accessible, we used the high-throughput method TaqMan® OpenArray Genotyping platform for developing a customized high-throughput assay for the three main mutations related to LHON.

Methods: The assay was performed for 87 individuals diagnosed with LHON or acquired optic neuropathy of unknown origin. The three main mutations were screened using the customized assay with the TaqMan® OpenArray Genotyping platform, and all reactions were performed in triplicate. The positive and negative results were revalidated with restriction fragment length polymorphism PCR (RFLP-PCR) and Sanger sequencing.

Results: The main mutations related to LHON were detected in 34 patients with genotyping reactions, of which 27 cases had the m.G11778A mutation, and seven had the m.T14484C mutation.

Conclusions: The TaqMan® OpenArray Genotyping platform was shown to be an effective tool for molecular screening of the most common mutations related to LHON without presenting false positive or negative results for the analyzed mutations. In addition, this tool can be considered a cheaper, faster, and more accurate alternative for molecular screening of LHON mutations than PCR and Sanger sequencing, as 94 genotyping reactions can be performed within 6 h and specific TaqMan probes are used.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Genotyping Techniques
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Hydrolysis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitochondria / genetics*
  • Mutation*
  • Optic Atrophy, Hereditary, Leber / diagnosis
  • Optic Atrophy, Hereditary, Leber / genetics*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Young Adult


  • DNA, Mitochondrial