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J Bioenerg Biomembr. 2011 Dec;43(6):699-708. doi: 10.1007/s10863-011-9389-9. Epub 2011 Oct 18.

Forty percent methionine restriction lowers DNA methylation, complex I ROS generation, and oxidative damage to mtDNA and mitochondrial proteins in rat heart.

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Department of Animal Physiology-II, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), Madrid, Spain.


Methionine dietary restriction (MetR), like dietary restriction (DR), increases rodent maximum longevity. However, the mechanism responsible for the retardation of aging with MetR is still not entirely known. As DR decreases oxidative damage and mitochondrial free radical production, it is plausible to hypothesize that a decrease in oxidative stress is the mechanism for longevity extension with MetR. In the present investigation male Wistar rats were subjected to isocaloric 40% MetR during 7 weeks. It was found that 40% MetR decreases heart mitochondrial ROS production at complex I during forward electron flow, lowers oxidative damage to mitochondrial DNA and proteins, and decreases the degree of methylation of genomic DNA. No significant changes occurred for mitochondrial oxygen consumption, the amounts of the four respiratory complexes (I to IV), and the mitochondrial protein apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF). These results indicate that methionine can be the dietary factor responsible for the decrease in mitochondrial ROS generation and oxidative stress, and likely for part of the increase in longevity, that takes place during DR. They also highlight some of the mechanisms involved in the generation of these beneficial effects.

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