Mitochondrial DNA haplogroups modify the risk of osteoarthritis by altering mitochondrial function and intracellular mitochondrial signals

Hezhi Fang, Fengjiao Zhang, Fengjie Li, Hao Shi, Lin Ma, Miaomiao Du, Yanting You, Ruyi Qiu, Hezhongrong Nie, Lijun Shen, Yidong Bai, Jianxin Lyu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Haplogroup G predisposes one to an increased risk of osteoarthritis (OA) occurrence, while haplogroup B4 is a protective factor against OA onset. However, the underlying mechanism is not known. Here, by using trans-mitochondrial technology, we demonstrate that the activity levels of mitochondrial respiratory chain complex I and III are higher in G cybrids than in haplogroup B4. Increased mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) promotes mitochondrial-related ATP generation in G cybrids, thereby shifting the ATP generation from glycolysis to OXPHOS. Furthermore, we found that lower glycolysis in G cybrids decreased cell viability under hypoxia (1% O2) compared with B4 cybrids. In contrast, G cybrids have a lower NAD+/NADH ratio and less generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) under both hypoxic (1% O2) and normoxic (20% O2) conditions than B4 cybrids, indicating that mitochondrial-mediated signaling pathways (retrograde signaling) differ between these cybrids. Gene expression profiling of G and B4 cybrids using next-generation sequencing technology showed that 404 of 575 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between G and B4 cybrids are enriched in 17 pathways, of which 11 pathways participate in OA. Quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) analyses confirmed that G cybrids had lower glycolysis activity than B4 cybrids. In addition, we confirmed that the rheumatoid arthritis pathway was over-activated in G cybrids, although the remaining 9 pathways were not further tested by qRT-PCR. In conclusion, our findings indicate that mtDNA haplogroup G may increase the risk of OA by shifting the metabolic profile from glycolysis to OXPHOS and by over-activating OA-related signaling pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)829-836
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Chondrocyte
  • Mitochondrial DNA haplogroup
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Retrograde signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


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