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Aging Cell. 2010 Oct;9(5):919-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1474-9726.2010.00607.x.

The migration of mitochondrial DNA fragments to the nucleus affects the chronological aging process of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, 07101-1709, USA.


Migration of fragmented mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) to the nucleus has been shown to occur in multiple species including yeast, plants, and mammals. Several human diseases, including Pallister-Hall syndrome and mucolipidosis, can be initiated by mtDNA insertion mutagenesis of nuclear DNA. In yeast, we demonstrated that the rate of mtDNA fragments translocating to the nucleus increases during chronological aging. The yeast chronological lifespan (CLS) is determined by the survival of nondividing cell populations. Whereas yeast strains with elevated migration rates of mtDNA fragments to the nucleus showed accelerated chronological aging, strains with decreased mtDNA transfer rates to the nucleus exhibited an extended CLS. Although one of the most popular theories of aging is the free radical theory, migration of mtDNA fragments to the nucleus may also contribute to the chronological aging process by possibly increasing nuclear genomic instability in cells with advanced age.

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