Ageing: mice and mitochondria.

Nature (Impact Factor: 38.6). 06/2004; 429(6990):357-9. DOI:10.1038/429357a
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    ABSTRACT: DNA damage and DNA repair may mediate several cellular processes, like replication and transcription, mutagenesis and apoptosis and thus may be important factors in the development and pathology of an organism, including cancer. DNA is constantly damaged by reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) directly and also by products of lipid peroxidation (LPO), which form exocyclic adducts to DNA bases. A wide variety of oxidatively-generated DNA lesions are present in living cells. 8-oxoguanine (8-oxoGua) is one of the best known DNA lesions due to its mutagenic properties. Among LPO-derived DNA base modifications the most intensively studied are ethenoadenine and ethenocytosine, highly miscoding DNA lesions considered as markers of oxidative stress and promutagenic DNA damage. Although at present it is impossible to directly answer the question concerning involvement of oxidatively damaged DNA in cancer etiology, it is likely that oxidatively modified DNA bases may serve as a source of mutations that initiate carcinogenesis and are involved in aging (i.e. they may be causal factors responsible for these processes). To counteract the deleterious effect of oxidatively damaged DNA, all organisms have developed several DNA repair mechanisms. The efficiency of oxidatively damaged DNA repair was frequently found to be decreased in cancer patients. The present work reviews the basis for the biological significance of DNA damage, particularly effects of 8-oxoGua and ethenoadduct occurrence in DNA in the aspect of cancer development, drawing attention to the multiplicity of proteins with repair activities.
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    ABSTRACT: The mitochondrial theory of aging predicts that functional alterations in mitochondria leading to reactive oxygen species (ROS) production contribute to the aging process in most if not all species. Using cellular senescence as a model for human aging, we have recently reported partial uncoupling of the respiratory chain in senescent human fibroblasts. In the present communication, we address a potential cause-effect relationship between impaired mitochondrial coupling and premature senescence. Chronic exposure of human fibroblasts to the chemical uncoupler carbonylcyanide p-trifluoromethoxyphenylhydrazone (FCCP) led to a temporary, reversible uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation. FCCP inhibited cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner, and a significant proportion of the cells entered premature senescence within 12 days. Unexpectedly, chronic exposure of cells to FCCP led to a significant increase in ROS production, and the inhibitory effect of FCCP on cell proliferation was eliminated by the antioxidant N-acetyl-cysteine. However, antioxidant treatment did not prevent premature senescence, suggesting that a reduction in the level of oxidative phosphorylation contributes to phenotypical changes characteristic of senescent human fibroblasts. To assess whether this mechanism might be conserved in evolution, the influence of mitochondrial uncoupling on replicative life span of yeast cells was also addressed. Similar to our findings in human fibroblasts, partial uncoupling of oxidative phsophorylation in yeast cells led to a substantial decrease in the mother-cell-specific life span and a concomitant incrase in ROS, indicating that life span shortening by mild mitochondrial uncoupling may represent a "public" mechanism of aging.
    Free Radical Biology and Medicine 10/2007; 43(6):947-58. · 5.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The notion of a mobile pool of coenzyme Q (CoQ) in the lipid bilayer has changed with the discovery of respiratory supramolecular units, in particular the supercomplex comprising complexes I and III; in this model, the electron transfer is thought to be mediated by tunneling or microdiffusion, with a clear kinetic advantage on the transfer based on random collisions. The CoQ pool, however, has a fundamental function in establishing a dissociation equilibrium with bound quinone, besides being required for electron transfer from other dehydrogenases to complex III. The mechanism of CoQ reduction by complex I is analyzed regarding recent developments on the crystallographic structure of the enzyme, also in relation to the capacity of complex I to generate superoxide. Although the mechanism of the Q-cycle is well established for complex III, involvement of CoQ in proton translocation by complex I is still debated. Some additional roles of CoQ are also examined, such as the antioxidant effect of its reduced form and the capacity to bind the permeability transition pore and the mitochondrial uncoupling proteins. Finally, a working hypothesis is advanced on the establishment of a vicious circle of oxidative stress and supercomplex disorganization in pathological states, as in neurodegeneration and cancer.
    BioFactors 09/2011; 37(5):330-54. · 3.09 Impact Factor

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