The mitochondrial genome is small, 16.5kb, and yet complex to study due to an abundance of mitochondria in any given cell or tissue. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations have been previously described in cancer, many of which were detected at low heteroplasmy. In this study we enriched the mitochondrial genome in primary pediatric tumors for detection of mtDNA variants. We completed mtDNA enrichment using REPLI-g, Agilent SureSelect, and long-range polymerase chain reaction (LRPCR) followed by next generation sequencing (NGS) on Illumina platforms. Primary tumor and germline genomic DNA from a variety of pediatric central nervous system (CNS) and extra-CNS solid tumors were analyzed by the three different methods. Although all three methods performed equally well for detecting variants at high heteroplasmy or homoplasmy, only LRPCR and SureSelect-based enrichment methods provided consistent results for variants that were present at less than five percent heteroplasmy. We then applied both LRPCR and SureSelect to three successive samples from a patient with multiply-recurrent gliofibroma and detected a low-level novel mutation as well as a change in heteroplasmy levels of a synonymous variant that was correlated with progression of disease. Implication: This study demonstrates that LRPCR and SureSelect enrichment, but not REPLI-g, followed by NGS are accurate methods for studying the mtDNA variations at low heteroplasmy, which may be applied to studying mtDNA mutations in cancer.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.