Mitochondrial DNA Mutations In Aging
Published 1998 · Biology
Human aging is characterized by the progressive decline in function at the levels of cells, tissues and organs. Various proposals have been put forward to explain the basis of aging, but the different processes envisaged should not be considered as mutually exclusive. The most prominent mechanisms proposed include genetic programming of senescence, damage to macromolecules by free radicals, molecular crosslinking, changes in immunological function, telomere shortening and somatic genetic changes in DNA.1’2 Among these mechanisms, the contribution of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations to the aging process, with consequential changes in cellular bioenergetic functions, has attracted wide attention in recent years (for reviews, see refs. 3–8).