Mitochondrial DNA repair and association with aging--an update

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Mitochondrial DNA is constantly exposed to oxidative injury. Due to its location close to the main site of reactive oxygen species, the inner mitochondrial membrane, mtDNA is more susceptible than nuclear DNA to oxidative damage. The accumulation of DNA damage is thought to play a critical role in the aging process and to be particularly deleterious in post-mitotic cells. Thus, DNA repair is an important mechanism for maintenance of genomic integrity. Despite the importance of mitochondria in the aging process, it was thought for many years that mitochondria lacked an enzymatic DNA repair system comparable to that in the nuclear compartment. However, it is now well established that DNA repair actively takes place in mitochondria. Oxidative DNA damage processing, base excision repair mechanisms were the first to be described in these organelles, and consequently the best understood. However, new proteins and novel DNA repair pathways, thought to be exclusively present in the nucleus, have recently been described also to be present in mitochondria. Here we review the main mitochondrial DNA repair pathways and their association with the aging process.
Original languageEnglish
JournalExperimental Gerontology
Issue number7-8
Pages (from-to)478-88
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2010

    Research areas

  • Aging, Animals, DNA Damage, DNA Glycosylases, DNA Ligases, DNA Mismatch Repair, DNA Repair, DNA, Mitochondrial, DNA-(Apurinic or Apyrimidinic Site) Lyase, DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase, Humans, Mitochondria, Models, Biological, Reactive Oxygen Species

ID: 33491852