Mitochondrial DNA Haplogroup D4a Is a Marker for Extreme Longevity in Japan
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CitationBilal, Erhan, Raul Rabadan, Gabriela Alexe, Noriyuki Fuku, Hitomi Ueno, Yutaka Nishigaki, Yasunori Fujita, Masafumi Ito, Yasumichi Arai, Nobuyoshi Hirose, Andrei Ruckenstein, Gyan Bhanot, Masashi Tanaka. "Mitochondrial DNA Haplogroup D4a Is a Marker for Extreme Longevity in Japan" PLoS ONE 3(6): e2421. (2008)
We report results from the analysis of complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences from 112 Japanese semi-supercentenarians (aged above 105 years) combined with previously published data from 96 patients in each of three non-disease phenotypes: centenarians (99-105 years of age), healthy non-obese males, obese young males and four disease phenotypes, diabetics with and without angiopathy, and Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease patients. We analyze the correlation between mitochondrial polymorphisms and the longevity phenotype using two different methods. We first use an exhaustive algorithm to identify all maximal patterns of polymorphisms shared by at least five individuals and define a significance score for enrichment of the patterns in each phenotype relative to healthy normals. Our study confirms the correlations observed in a previous study showing enrichment of a hierarchy of haplogroups in the D clade for longevity. For the extreme longevity phenotype we see a single statistically significant signal: a progressive enrichment of certain "beneficial"patterns in centenarians and semi-supercentenarians in the D4a haplogroup. We then use Principal Component Spectral Analysis of the SNP-SNP Covariance Matrix to compare the measured eigenvalues to a Null distribution of eigenvalues on Gaussian datasets to determine whether the correlations in the data (due to longevity) arises from some property of the mutations themselves or whether they are due to population structure. The conclusion is that the correlations are entirely due to population structure (phylogenetic tree). We find no signal for a functional mtDNA SNP correlated with longevity. The fact that the correlations are from the population structure suggests that hitch-hiking on autosomal events is a possible explanation for the observed correlations.