[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial function is an important determinant of the ageing process; however, the mitochondrial properties that enable longevity are not well understood. Here we show that optimal assembly of mitochondrial complex I predicts longevity in mice. Using an unbiased high-coverage high-confidence approach, we demonstrate that electron transport chain proteins, especially the matrix arm subunits of complex I, are decreased in young long-living mice, which is associated with improved complex I assembly, higher complex I-linked state 3 oxygen consumption rates and decreased superoxide production, whereas the opposite is seen in old mice. Disruption of complex I assembly reduces oxidative metabolism with concomitant increase in mitochondrial superoxide production. This is rescued by knockdown of the mitochondrial chaperone, prohibitin. Disrupted complex I assembly causes premature senescence in primary cells. We propose that lower abundance of free catalytic complex I components supports complex I assembly, efficacy of substrate utilization and minimal ROS production, enabling enhanced longevity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nuclear genetic disorders causing mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) depletion are clinically and genetically heterogeneous, and the molecular etiology remains undiagnosed in the majority of cases. Through whole-exome sequencing, we identified recessive nonsense and splicing mutations in FBXL4 segregating in three unrelated consanguineous kindreds in which affected children present with a fatal encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and severe mtDNA depletion in muscle. We show that FBXL4 is an F-box protein that colocalizes with mitochondria and that loss-of-function and splice mutations in this protein result in a severe respiratory chain deficiency, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, and a disturbance of the dynamic mitochondrial network and nucleoid distribution in fibroblasts from affected individuals. Expression of the wild-type FBXL4 transcript in cell lines from two subjects fully rescued the levels of mtDNA copy number, leading to a correction of the mitochondrial biochemical deficit. Together our data demonstrate that mutations in FBXL4 are disease causing and establish FBXL4 as a mitochondrial protein with a possible role in maintaining mtDNA integrity and stability.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 08/2013; · 11.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Countless studies have implicated reactive oxygen species (ROS) and mitochondrial dysfunction in the ageing process. During cellular senescence, the ultimate and irreversible loss of replicative capacity of somatic cells grown in culture, several studies have reported increased levels of ROS associated with mitochondrial dysfunction and metabolic inefficiency. Moreover, studies have revealed that interventions modulating intracellular ROS can impact on the replicative lifespan of cultured cells, suggesting that ROS play a central role in the process. In this chapter, we present several protocols used for detection of (intra- and extracellular) ROS in live cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In senescent cells, a DNA damage response drives not only irreversible loss of replicative capacity but also production and secretion of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and bioactive peptides including pro-inflammatory cytokines. This makes senescent cells a potential cause of tissue functional decline in aging. To our knowledge, we show here for the first time evidence suggesting that DNA damage induces a senescence-like state in mature postmitotic neurons in vivo. About 40-80% of Purkinje neurons and 20-40% of cortical, hippocampal and peripheral neurons in the myenteric plexus from old C57Bl/6 mice showed severe DNA damage, activated p38MAPkinase, high ROS production and oxidative damage, interleukin IL-6 production, heterochromatinization and senescence-associated β-galactosidase activity. Frequencies of these senescence-like neurons increased with age. Short-term caloric restriction tended to decrease frequencies of positive cells. The phenotype was aggravated in brains of late-generation TERC-/- mice with dysfunctional telomeres. It was fully rescued by loss of p21(CDKN1A) function in late-generation TERC-/-CDKN1A-/- mice, indicating p21 as the necessary signal transducer between DNA damage response and senescence-like phenotype in neurons, as in senescing fibroblasts and other proliferation-competent cells. We conclude that a senescence-like phenotype is possibly not restricted to proliferation-competent cells. Rather, dysfunctional telomeres and/or accumulated DNA damage can induce a DNA damage response leading to a phenotype in postmitotic neurons that resembles cell senescence in multiple features. Senescence-like neurons might be a source of oxidative and inflammatory stress and a contributor to brain aging.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Chronic dietary restriction (DR) has been shown to have beneficial effects on glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity. These factors show rapid and robust improvements when rodents were crossed over from an ad libitum (AL) diet to DR in mid life. We aimed to determine whether the beneficial effects induced by short-term exposure to DR can be retained as a ‘metabolic memory’ when AL feeding is resumed (AL-DR-AL) and vice versa: whether the effects of long-term DR can be reversed by a period of AL feeding (DR-AL-DR). C57BL/6 male and female mice were used to examine sex differences (N = 10/sex/group). Mice were fed AL or DR from 3 until 15 months (baseline) and each dietary crossover lasted approximately 5 months.
In females, body and fat mass were proportional to the changes in feeding regime and plasma insulin and glucose tolerance were unaffected by the crossovers. However, in male mice, glucose tolerance and plasma insulin levels were reversed within 6 to 12 weeks. When males returned to AL intake following 5 months DR (AL-DR-AL), body mass was maintained below baseline, proportional to changes in fat mass. Glucose tolerance was also significantly better compared to baseline.
Male mice retained a metabolic memory of 5 months of DR feeding in terms of reduced body mass and improved glucose tolerance. This implies that some of the beneficial effects induced by a period of DR in adult life may be beneficial, even when free feeding is resumed at least in males. However, under continuous DR, lifespan extension was more prominent in females than in males.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Late onset, short-term moderate caloric restriction (CR) may have beneficial health effects. A 26% CR regime induced at 14 months of age for 70 days in male C57Bl/6 (ICRFa) mice resulted in a reduction in body mass of 17%. A decrease in daily energy expenditure was associated with decreased body mass in CR mice. There was no difference in total levels of physical activity between the CR and ad libitum (AL) groups; however, activity patterns were different. We developed a Bayesian model to dissect the impact of food anticipation activity (FAA) and feeding on physical activity. FAA was stronger in CR mice and remaining basal activity was higher in AL mice, but CR mice displayed larger diurnal variations as well as a phase shift in their diurnal activity. CR mice displayed lower body temperature, especially late during the dark phase. This was due to lower basal (activity-independent) temperature at all times of the day, coupled to a phase shift in the diurnal rhythm. The correlation between body temperature and physical activity was independent of feeding regimen and light/dark cycles. Reduction of body mass and basal temperature were major compensatory mechanisms to reduced food availability during late-onset, short-term CR.
Mechanisms of ageing and development 04/2011; 132(4):202-9. · 4.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Metabolic labelling pulse-chase experiments are important means to study molecular turnover rates. However, the inherent problem associated with the method is precursor re-utilization, which can cause a significant overestimation of the actual rates of molecular degradation. In published studies on mitochondrial degradation, this problem has led to widely differing results. Practically, the extra information required to correct these errors is not easy to obtain. Using an example of a mitochondrial protein degradation study with NaH(14)CO(3) as the precursor label, we explain the limitations of the method and our approaches to mathematical correction. A dynamic model, including error, used the full power of the data and resulted in sensitive and specific distributed parameter estimates, helping to reduce numbers of experimental animals. This example has important implications not only for similar pulse-chase experiments, but also in a more general context where comparable types of data are generated.
Biochemical Society Transactions 10/2010; 38(5):1322-8. · 2.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dietary restriction (DR) extends the lifespan of a wide variety of species and reduces the incidence of major age-related diseases. Cell senescence has been proposed as one causal mechanism for tissue and organism ageing. We show for the first time that adult-onset, short-term DR reduced frequencies of senescent cells in the small intestinal epithelium and liver of mice, which are tissues known to accumulate increased numbers of senescent cells with advancing age. This reduction was associated with improved telomere maintenance without increased telomerase activity. We also found a decrease in cumulative oxidative stress markers in the same compartments despite absence of significant changes in steady-state oxidative stress markers at the whole tissue level. The data suggest the possibility that reduction of cell senescence may be a primary consequence of DR which in turn may explain known effects of DR such as improved mitochondrial function and reduced production of reactive oxygen species.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cellular senescence--the permanent arrest of cycling in normally proliferating cells such as fibroblasts--contributes both to age-related loss of mammalian tissue homeostasis and acts as a tumour suppressor mechanism. The pathways leading to establishment of senescence are proving to be more complex than was previously envisaged. Combining in-silico interactome analysis and functional target gene inhibition, stochastic modelling and live cell microscopy, we show here that there exists a dynamic feedback loop that is triggered by a DNA damage response (DDR) and, which after a delay of several days, locks the cell into an actively maintained state of 'deep' cellular senescence. The essential feature of the loop is that long-term activation of the checkpoint gene CDKN1A (p21) induces mitochondrial dysfunction and production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) through serial signalling through GADD45-MAPK14(p38MAPK)-GRB2-TGFBR2-TGFbeta. These ROS in turn replenish short-lived DNA damage foci and maintain an ongoing DDR. We show that this loop is both necessary and sufficient for the stability of growth arrest during the establishment of the senescent phenotype.
Molecular Systems Biology 01/2010; 6:347. · 11.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 'Mitochondrial dysfunction', which may result from an accumulation of damaged mitochondria in cells due to a slowed-down rate of mitochondrial turnover and inadequate removal of damaged mitochondria during aging, has been implicated as both cause and consequence of the aging process and a number of age-related pathologies. Despite growing interest in mitochondrial function during aging, published data on mitochondrial turnover are scarce, and differ from each other by up to one order of magnitude. Here we demonstrate that re-utilization of the radioactively labelled precursor in pulse-chase assays is the most likely cause of significant overestimation of mitochondrial turnover rates. We performed a classic radioactive label pulse-chase experiment using (14)C NaHCO(3), whose (14)C is incorporated into various amino acids, to measure mitochondrial turnover in mouse liver. In this system, the activity of the urea cycle greatly limited arginine dependent label re-utilization, but not that of other amino acids. We used information from tissues that do not have an active urea cycle (brain and muscle) to estimate the extent of label re-utilization with a dynamic mathematical model. We estimated the actual liver mitochondrial half life as only 1.83 days, and this decreased to 1.16 days following 3 months of dietary restriction, supporting the hypothesis that this intervention might promote mitochondrial turnover as a part of its beneficial effects.