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Removing mutated DNA from mitochondria to turn back the aging clock

18-Nov-2016

Key points from article :

Hundreds to thousands of mitochondria per cell each carrying its own mtDNA.

mtDNA has limited repair abilities resulting in heteroplasm.

When a critical threshold level of mutant mtDNA is passed, cells become nonfunctional or die.

Cells can break down and remove dysfunctional mitochondria through a process called mitophagy

When Caltech researchers artificially increased the activity of genes that promote mitophagy in fruit flies the fraction of mutated mtDNA in muscle cells was dramatically reduced.

For example, parkin which is mutated in familial forms of Parkinson’s disease reduced the fraction of mutant mtDNA from 76 percent to 5.

The study was published in the Nature Communications journal.

Mentioned in this article:

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Academic

Professor at Caltech.

Journal

Journal covering all topics in physics, chemistry, and biology.

Academic

Project Scientist of University of California, San Diego.

Academia

Public land-grant research university