Mitochondrial DNA mutations and aging: a case closed?

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Recent reports of premature aging in mutant mice with greatly increased rates of mitochondrial DNA mutagenesis (so-called 'mitochondrial mutator mice') appeared to confirm that accumulation of mtDNA mutations is a key mechanism of normal aging. Now, in a dramatic turnaround, a new study reports that levels of point mutations in tissues of aged normal mice are much lower than in the mutator mice, apparently ruling out a causal role in normal aging.

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Figure 1: Mitochondrial DNA mutations and aging.

Kim Caesar

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Khrapko, K., Vijg, J. Mitochondrial DNA mutations and aging: a case closed?. Nat Genet 39, 445–446 (2007) doi:10.1038/ng0407-445

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