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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 Oct 27;95(22):12896-901.

Mitochondrial adenine nucleotide translocase is modified oxidatively during aging.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275, USA.


The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that elevation in protein oxidative damage during the aging process is a targeted rather than a stochastic phenomenon. Oxidative damage to proteins in mitochondrial membranes in the flight muscles of the housefly, manifested as carbonyl modifications, was detected immunochemically with anti-dinitrophenyl antibodies. Adenine nucleotide translocase (ANT) was found to be the only protein in the mitochondrial membranes exhibiting a detectable age-associated increase in carbonyls. The age-related elevation in ANT carbonyl content was correlated with a corresponding loss in its functional activity. Senescent flies that had lost the ability to fly exhibited a relatively higher degree of ANT oxidation and a greater loss of functional activity than their cohorts of the same age that were still able to fly. Exposure of flies to 100% oxygen resulted in an increase in the level of ANT carbonyl content and a loss in its activity. In vitro treatment of mitochondria with a system that generated hydroxyl free radicals caused an increase in ANT carbonyl level and a decrease in ANT exchange activity. ANT was also the only mitochondrial membrane protein exhibiting adducts of the lipid peroxidation product 4-hydroxynonenal. Results of this study indicate that proteins in mitochondrial membranes are modified selectively during aging.

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