It has been proposed that European mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups J and K, and their shared 10398G single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the ND3 gene, are protective from Parkinson's disease (PD). We evaluated the distribution of the different mtDNA haplogroups in a large cohort of 620 Italian patients with adult-onset (> 50, < 65 years of age) idiopathic PD vs two groups of ethnic-matched controls. Neither the frequencies of haplogroup J nor that of 10398G were significantly different. However, the frequency of haplogroup K was significantly lower in PD. Stratification by sex and age indicated that the difference in the distribution of haplogroup K was more prominent in > 50year old males. In spite of the common 10398G SNP, haplogroups J and K belong to widely diverging mitochondrial clades, a consideration that may explain the different results obtained for the two haplogroups in our cohorts. Our study suggests that haplogroup K might confer a lower risk for PD in Italians, corroborating the idea that the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation pathway is involved in the susceptibility to idiopathic PD.
- Mitochondrial DNA haplogroups
- Parkinson's disease
- Single nucleotide polymorphism
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