Methods:Glaucoma patients with high-tension primary open-angle glaucoma and ethnically matched and age-matched control subjects without glaucoma were recruited. The entire human mitochondrial genome was amplified in two overlapping fragments by long-range polymerase chain reaction and used as a template for massively parallel sequencing on an Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine. All variants were confirmed by conventional Sanger sequencing.
Results:Whole-mitochondrial genome sequencing was performed in 32 patients with primary open-angle glaucoma from India (n = 16) and Ireland (n = 16). In 16 of the 32 patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (50% of cases), there were 22 mitochondrial DNA mutations consisting of 7 novel mutations and 8 previously reported disease-associated sequence variants. Eight of 22 (36.4%) of the mitochondrial DNA mutations were in complex I mitochondrial genes.
Conclusion:Massively parallel sequencing using the Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine with confirmation by Sanger sequencing detected a pathogenic mitochondrial DNA mutation in 50% of the primary open-angle glaucoma cohort. Our findings support the emerging concept that mitochondrial dysfunction results in the development of glaucoma and, more specifically, that complex I defects play a significant role in primary open-angle glaucoma pathogenesis.