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PLoS Genet. 2007 Feb 23;3(2):e24.

The role of mitochondrial DNA mutations in mammalian aging.

Author information

Department of Genetics and Medical Genetics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America.


Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) accumulates both base-substitution mutations and deletions with aging in several tissues in mammals. Here, we examine the evidence supporting a causative role for mtDNA mutations in mammalian aging. We describe and compare human diseases and mouse models associated with mitochondrial genome instability. We also discuss potential mechanisms for the generation of these mutations and the means by which they may mediate their pathological consequences. Strategies for slowing the accumulation and attenuating the effects of mtDNA mutations are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests. GCK and TAP were awarded a United States patent (7,126,040) for the PolgD257A mouse model described here. TAP is a partial owner and scientific consultant for LifeGen Technologies, specializing in the application of DNA microarray analysis to analyzing nutraceutical interventions in aging.

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