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Nat Genet. 2007 Apr;39(4):540-3. Epub 2007 Mar 4.

Mitochondrial point mutations do not limit the natural lifespan of mice.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 91895, USA.

Abstract

Whether mitochondrial mutations cause mammalian aging, or are merely correlated with it, is an area of intense debate. Here, we use a new, highly sensitive assay to redefine the relationship between mitochondrial mutations and age. We measured the in vivo rate of change of the mitochondrial genome at a single-base pair level in mice, and we demonstrate that the mutation frequency in mouse mitochondria is more than ten times lower than previously reported. Although we observed an 11-fold increase in mitochondrial point mutations with age, we report that a mitochondrial mutator mouse was able to sustain a 500-fold higher mutation burden than normal mice, without any obvious features of rapidly accelerated aging. Thus, our results strongly indicate that mitochondrial mutations do not limit the lifespan of wild-type mice.

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PMID:
17334366
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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