Mitochondrial point mutations do not limit the natural lifespan of mice

University of Washington Seattle, Seattle, Washington, United States
Nature Genetics (Impact Factor: 29.65). 05/2007; 39(4):540-3. DOI: 10.1038/ng1988
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Whether mitochondrial mutations cause mammalian aging, or are merely correlated with it, is an area of intense debate. Here, we use a new, highly sensitive assay to redefine the relationship between mitochondrial mutations and age. We measured the in vivo rate of change of the mitochondrial genome at a single-base pair level in mice, and we demonstrate that the mutation frequency in mouse mitochondria is more than ten times lower than previously reported. Although we observed an 11-fold increase in mitochondrial point mutations with age, we report that a mitochondrial mutator mouse was able to sustain a 500-fold higher mutation burden than normal mice, without any obvious features of rapidly accelerated aging. Thus, our results strongly indicate that mitochondrial mutations do not limit the lifespan of wild-type mice.


Available from: Warren C Ladiges, Mar 17, 2014
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aging is associated with conduit artery stiffening that is a risk factor for and can precede hypertension and ventricular dysfunction. Increases in mitochondria DNA (mtDNA) frequency have been correlated with aging. Mice with a mutation in the encoding domain (D257A) of a proof-reading deficient version of mtDNA polymerase-γ (POLG) have musculoskeletal features of premature aging and a shortened lifespan. However, few studies using these mice have investigated the effects of mtDNA mutations on cardiovascular function. We hypothesized that the proof-reading deficient mtDNA POLG leads to arterial stiffening, hypertension, and ventricular hypertrophy. Ten to twelve month-old D257A mice (n=13) and age- and sex-matched wild-type controls (n=13) were catheterized for hemodynamic and ventricular function measurements. Left common carotid arteries (LCCA) were harvested for mechanical tests followed by histology. Male D257A mice had pulmonary and systemic hypertension, arterial stiffening, larger LCCA diameter (701±45 vs. 597±60 μm), shorter LCCA axial length (8.96±0.56 vs. 10.10±0.80 mm), and reduced hematocrit (29.1±6.1 vs. 41.3±8.1; all p<0.05). Male and female D257A mice had biventricular hypertrophy (p<0.05). Female D257A mice did not have significant increases in pressure or arterial stiffening, suggesting that the mechanisms of hypertension or arterial stiffening from mtDNA mutations differ based on sex. Our results lend insight into the mechanisms of age-related cardiovascular disease and may point to novel treatment strategies to address cardiovascular mortality in the elderly.
    Journal of Biomechanics 12/2014; 48(3). DOI:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2014.12.044 · 2.50 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Somatic mosaicism refers to the occurrence of two genetically distinct populations of cells within an individual, derived from a postzygotic mutation. In contrast to inherited mutations, somatic mosaic mutations may affect only a portion of the body and are not transmitted to progeny. These mutations affect varying genomic sizes ranging from single nucleotides to entire chromosomes and have been implicated in disease, most prominently cancer. The phenotypic consequences of somatic mosaicism are dependent upon many factors including the developmental time at which the mutation occurs, the areas of the body that are affected, and the pathophysiological effect(s) of the mutation. The advent of second-generation sequencing technologies has augmented existing array-based and cytogenetic approaches for the identification of somatic mutations. We outline the strengths and weaknesses of these techniques and highlight recent insights into the role of somatic mosaicism in causing cancer, neurodegenerative, monogenic, and complex disease.
    12/2014; 5(4):1064-94. DOI:10.3390/genes5041064
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The mitochondrial theory of aging, a mainstream theory of aging which once included accumulation of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage by reactive oxygen species (ROS) as its cornerstone, has been increasingly losing ground and is undergoing extensive revision due to its inability to explain a growing body of emerging data. Concurrently, the notion of the central role for mtDNA in the aging process is being met with increased skepticism. Our progress in understanding the processes of mtDNA maintenance, repair, damage, and degradation in response to damage has largely refuted the view of mtDNA as being particularly susceptible to ROS-mediated mutagenesis due to its lack of "protective" histones and reduced complement of available DNA repair pathways. Recent research on mitochondrial ROS production has led to the appreciation that mitochondria, even in vitro, produce much less ROS than previously thought, automatically leading to a decreased expectation of physiologically achievable levels of mtDNA damage. New evidence suggests that both experimentally induced oxidative stress and radiation therapy result in very low levels of mtDNA mutagenesis. Recent advances provide evidence against the existence of the "vicious" cycle of mtDNA damage and ROS production. Meta-studies reveal no longevity benefit of increased antioxidant defenses. Simultaneously, exciting new observations from both comparative biology and experimental systems indicate that increased ROS production and oxidative damage to cellular macromolecules, including mtDNA, can be associated with extended longevity. A novel paradigm suggests that increased ROS production in aging may be the result of adaptive signaling rather than a detrimental byproduct of normal respiration that drives aging. Here, we review issues pertaining to the role of mtDNA in aging.