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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Oct;1790(10):1015-20. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2009.04.018. Epub 2009 May 4.

Mitochondrial DNA mutations and ageing.

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  • 1Mitochondrial Research Group, Institute for Ageing and Health, The Medical School, Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE2 4HH, UK.

Abstract

The mechanism by which we age has sparked a huge number of theories, and is an area of intense debate. As the elderly population rises, the importance of elucidating these mechanisms is becoming more apparent as age is the single biggest risk factor for a number of diseases such as cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative disease. Mitochondrial DNA (MtDNA) mutations have been shown to accumulate in cells and tissues during the ageing process; however the question as to whether these mutations have a causal role in the ageing process remains an area of uncertainty. Here we review the current literature, and discuss the evidence for and against a causal role of mtDNA mutations in ageing and in the pathogenesis of age-related disease.

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