Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism (Jan 2021)

Mitochondrial haplogroup G is associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, while haplogroup A mitigates the effects of PNPLA3

  • Aaron M. Gusdon,
  • You Hui,
  • Jing Chen,
  • Clayton E. Mathews,
  • Shen Qu

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 4, no. 1
pp. n/a – n/a


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Abstract Objectives Mitochondrial dysfunction plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We hypothesized that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups affect the risk of NAFLD in Han Chinese patients and interact with PNPLA3 genotypes. Design NAFLD and control patients were recruited from a tertiary care centre. The mitochondrial genome was amplified in overlapping segments and sequenced. Mitochondrial haplogroups were determined using Mitomaster. PNPLA3 rs738409 genotyping was performed using restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Patients We enrolled 655 NAFLD patients and 504 controls. Results More NAFLD patients encoded haplogroup G; odds ratio (OR) 1.85 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.16, 2.80). Subhaplogroup G3 was present more frequently in NAFLD patients (25.8% vs 6.5%). The PNPLA3 CG genotype resulted in an OR of 1.66 (95% CI 1.25, 2.21), and the GG genotype resulted in an OR of 2.33 (95% CI 1.72, 3.17) for NAFLD. Patients with mitochondrial haplogroup A had a significantly higher frequency of genotype GG. Among patients with haplogroup A, no PNPLA3 genotype was associated with increased NAFLD risk (CG: OR 1.17, 95% CI 0.55, 2.34; GG: OR 1.04 95% CI 0.66, 2.65). Excluding haplogroup A, the OR for CG was 1.58 (95% CI 1.18, 2.12), and the OR for GG was 1.81 (95% CI 1.30, 2.51). Conclusion Haplogroup G was associated with an increased risk of NAFLD PNPLA3 GG genotype was overrepresented among patients encoding haplogroup A and was not associated with NAFLD risk among haplogroup A patients. Mitochondrial genetics influence NAFLD risk and interact with PNPLA3 genotypes.