Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) gene defects may play a role in the development of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). In order to search for potentially diabetogenic mtDNA defects we have applied the technique of single stranded conformational polymorphism (SSCP) analysis to 124 patients with a history of NIDDM and 40 non-diabetic controls. No new heteroplasmic mutations were detected. However, a variety of homoplasmic variants were found in patients with NIDDM; some of these merit further investigation.
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