The mitochondrial genome encodes core catalytic peptides that affect major metabolic processes within a cell. Here, we investigated the association between mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variants and allergic diseases, including atopic dermatitis (AD) and asthma, alongside heteroplasmy within the mtDNA in subjects with allergic sensitization. We collected genotype data from 973 subjects with allergic sensitization, consisting of 632 children with AD, 498 children with asthma, and 481 healthy controls by extracting DNA from their blood samples. Fisher's exact test was used to investigate mtDNA and nuclear DNA variants related to mitochondrial function (MT-nDNA) to identify their association with allergic diseases. Among the 69 mtDNA variants, rs28357671 located on the MT-ND6 gene displayed statistically significant associations with allergic diseases (Bonferroni-corrected P < 7.25E-4), while 6, 4, and 2 genes were associated with allergic sensitization, AD, and asthma, respectively (P < 0.0002), including NLRX1, OCA2, and CHCHD3 among the MT-nDNA genes. Heteroplasmy of mitochondrial DNA associated with allergic sensitization was evaluated in a separate cohort of patients consisting of 59 subjects with allergic sensitization and 52 controls. Heteroplasmy was verified when a patient carried both alleles of a mitochondrial single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) when clustered. One of the 134 mitochondrial SNPs showed heteroplasmy at a level of 0.4313 when clustering was applied. The probe sequence located at mitochondrial position 16217 and within the D-loop, which acts as a major control site for mtDNA expression. This is the first study to evaluate the association between mitochondrial DNA variants and allergic diseases. A harmonized effect of genes related to mitochondrial function may contribute to the risk of allergic diseases.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank Professor Young-Mok Lee at Yonsei University College of Medicine for expert advice and revision on our manuscript. This work was supported by the National Research Foundation Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2015R1D1A1A01061217 and NRF-2019R1F1A1058910).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine