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See detailDiscordant Monozygotic Parkinson Disease Twins: Role of Mitochondrial Integrity
Dulovic-Mahlow, Marija; König, Inke R.; Trinh, Joanne et al

in Annals of Neurology (2020)

Objective Even though genetic predisposition has proven to be an important element in Parkinson's disease (PD) etiology, monozygotic (MZ) twins with PD displayed a concordance rate of only about 20 ... [more ▼]

Objective Even though genetic predisposition has proven to be an important element in Parkinson's disease (PD) etiology, monozygotic (MZ) twins with PD displayed a concordance rate of only about 20% despite their shared identical genetic background. Methods We recruited 5 pairs of MZ twins discordant for idiopathic PD and established skin fibroblast cultures to investigate mitochondrial phenotypes in these cellular models against the background of a presumably identical genome. To test for genetic differences, we performed whole genome sequencing, deep mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequencing, and tested for mitochondrial deletions by multiplex real‐time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the fibroblast cultures. Further, the fibroblast cultures were tested for mitochondrial integrity by immunocytochemistry, immunoblotting, flow cytometry, and real‐time PCR to quantify gene expression. Results Genome sequencing did not identify any genetic difference. We found decreased mitochondrial functionality with reduced cellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels, altered mitochondrial morphology, elevated protein levels of superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2), and increased levels of peroxisome proliferator‐activated receptor‐gamma coactivator‐α (PPARGC1A) messenger RNA (mRNA) in skin fibroblast cultures from the affected compared to the unaffected twins. Further, there was a tendency for a higher number of somatic mtDNA variants among the affected twins. Interpretation We demonstrate disease‐related differences in mitochondrial integrity in the genetically identical twins. Of note, the clinical expression matches functional alterations of the mitochondria [less ▲]

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