Mitochondrial DNA transmission, replication and inheritance: a journey from the gamete through the embryo and into offspring and embryonic stem cells

Clinical Sciences Research Institute, Warwick Medical School, CSB-University Hospital, Coventry, UK.
Human Reproduction Update (Impact Factor: 8.66). 03/2010; 16(5):488-509. DOI: 10.1093/humupd/dmq002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) encodes key proteins associated with the process of oxidative phosphorylation. Defects to mtDNA cause severe disease phenotypes that can affect offspring survival. The aim of this review is to identify how mtDNA is replicated as it transits from the fertilized oocyte into the preimplantation embryo, the fetus and offspring. Approaches for deriving offspring and embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are analysed to determine their potential application for the prevention and treatment of mtDNA disease.
The scientific literature was investigated to determine how mtDNA is transmitted, replicated and segregated during pluripotency, differentiation and development. It was also probed to understand how the mtDNA nucleoid is regulated in somatic cells.
mtDNA replication is strictly down-regulated from the fertilized oocyte through the preimplantation embryo. At the blastocyst stage, the onset of mtDNA replication is specific to the trophectodermal cells. The inner cell mass cells restrict mtDNA replication until they receive the key signals to commit to specific cell types. However, it is necessary to determine whether somatic cells reprogrammed through somatic cell nuclear transfer, induced pluripotency or fusion to an ESC are able to regulate mtDNA replication so that they can be used for patient-specific cell therapies and to model disease.
Prevention of the transmission of mtDNA disease from one generation to the next is still restricted by our lack of understanding as to how to ensure that a donor karyoplast transferred to an enucleated oocyte is free of accompanying mutant mtDNA. Techniques still need to be developed if stem cells are to be used to treat mtDNA disease in those patients already suffering from the phenotype.

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    ABSTRACT: Next generation sequencing (NGS) is now being used for detecting chromosomal abnormalities in blastocyst trophectoderm (TE) cells from in vitro fertilized embryos. However, few data are available regarding the clinical outcome, which provides vital reference for further application of the methodology. Here, we present a clinical evaluation of NGS-based preimplantation genetic diagnosis/screening (PGD/PGS) compared with single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array-based PGD/PGS as a control. A total of 395 couples participated. They were carriers of either translocation or inversion mutations, or were patients with recurrent miscarriage and/or advanced maternal age. A total of 1,512 blastocysts were biopsied on D5 after fertilization, with 1,058 blastocysts set aside for SNP array testing and 454 blastocysts for NGS testing. In the NGS cycles group, the implantation, clinical pregnancy and miscarriage rates were 52.6% (60/114), 61.3% (49/80) and 14.3% (7/49), respectively. In the SNP array cycles group, the implantation, clinical pregnancy and miscarriage rates were 47.6% (139/292), 56.7% (115/203) and 14.8% (17/115), respectively. The outcome measures of both the NGS and SNP array cycles were the same with insignificant differences. There were 150 blastocysts that underwent both NGS and SNP array analysis, of which seven blastocysts were found with inconsistent signals. All other signals obtained from NGS analysis were confirmed to be accurate by validation with qPCR. The relative copy number of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) for each blastocyst that underwent NGS testing was evaluated, and a significant difference was found between the copy number of mtDNA for the euploid and the chromosomally abnormal blastocysts. So far, out of 42 ongoing pregnancies, 24 babies were born in NGS cycles; all of these babies are healthy and free of any developmental problems. This study provides the first evaluation of the clinical outcomes of NGS-based pre-implantation genetic diagnosis/screening, and shows the reliability of this method in a clinical and array-based laboratory setting. NGS provides an accurate approach to detect embryonic imbalanced segmental rearrangements, to avoid the potential risks of false signals from SNP array in this study.
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    PLoS ONE 01/2015; 10(2):e0117187. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0117187 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    Iranian biomedical journal 02/2015; 19(1):23-28. DOI:10.6091/ibj.1400.2015