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Cancer Res. 2006 Aug 1;66(15):7386-9.

Mitochondrial DNA mutations and apoptosis in mammalian aging.

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Department of Genetics and Medical Genetics, University of Wisconsin, 425-G Henry Mall, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


Mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) accumulate during aging, but their significance to longevity and age-associated disease has been uncertain. Recently, in support of the hypothesis that mtDNA integrity is important, we have shown that age-associated diseases arise more rapidly in mice where mtDNA mutations and increased levels of apoptosis occur at higher rates than normal due to expression of an error-prone mtDNA polymerase. Further studies in this model may provide deeper insights into the relationship between mitochondria, aging, and susceptibility to age-associated diseases, such as cancer.

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