Polymorphisms in the non-coding region of the human mitochondrial genome in unrelated plateletapheresis donors


Dr H. S. P. Garritsen, Tissue Typing Laboratory, Department of Transfusion Medicine and Transplantation Immunology, University Hospital Münster, Domagkstr. 11, 48149 Münster, Germany. E-mail: Garrits@uni-muenster.de


Human mitochondrial DNA polymorphisms are unique targets to discriminate nucleated cells and platelets between donor and recipient in the setting of transplantation or transfusion. We have previously used this approach to discriminate allogeneic platelets from autologous platelets after transfusion. In the present study, we used DNA sequencing to investigate polymorphisms present in two of the hypervariable segments (HVR1 and HVR2) found within the non-coding region of the mitochondrial genome among 100 plateletapheresis donors. Alignments were made with the Cambridge Reference Sequence (CRS) for human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Combining the sequencing information of HVR1 and HVR2 we could demonstrate that, of the 100 investigated mtDNA samples, none was identical to the CRS. We found a total of 2–17 polymorphisms per donor in the investigated regions, most of them were basepair substitutions (563) and insertions (151). No deletions were found. Sixty-six of the 110 detected polymorphisms were detected in more than one sample. Seven polymorphisms are newly described and have not been published in the Mitomap database. Our results demonstrate that polymerase chain reaction analysis of the many polymorphisms found in the hypervariable region of mitochondrial DNA represents a more informative target than previously described mitochondrial polymorphisms for discriminating donor–recipient cells after transfusion or transplantation.