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Biotechnol J. 2008 Jun;3(6):728-39. doi: 10.1002/biot.200800015.

Mitochondria and ageing in Drosophila.

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Laboratory of Cell and Developmental Genetics, Department of Medicine, CREFSIP, Pav CE-Marchand, Université Laval, Québec, QC, Canada.


Studies in different organisms have revealed that ageing is a complex process involving a tight regulation of gene expression. Among other features, ageing organisms generally display an increased oxidative stress and a decreased mitochondrial function. The increase in oxidative stress can be attributable to reactive oxygen species, which are mainly produced by mitochondria as a by-product of energy metabolism. Consistent with these data, mitochondria have been suggested to play a significant role in lifespan determination. The fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster is a well-suited organism to study ageing as it is relatively short-lived, mainly composed of post-mitotic cells, has sequenced nuclear and mitochondrial genomes, and multiple genetic tools are available. It has been used in genome-wide studies to unveil the molecular signature of ageing, in different feeding and dietary restriction protocols and in overexpression and down-regulation studies to examine the effect of specific compounds or genes/proteins on lifespan. Here we review the various features linking mitochondria and ageing in Drosophila melanogaster.

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