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P66Shc Inactivation Modifies RNS Production, Regulates Sirt3 Activity, And Improves Mitochondrial Homeostasis, Delaying The Aging Process In Mouse Brain

Hernán Pérez, Paola Vanesa Finocchietto, Yael Alippe, Inés Rebagliati, María Eugenia Elguero, Nerina Villalba, Juan José Poderoso, María Cecilia Carreras

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Programmed and damage aging theories have traditionally been conceived as stand-alone schools of thought. However, the p66Shc adaptor protein has demonstrated that aging-regulating genes and reactive oxygen species (ROS) are closely interconnected, since its absence modifies metabolic homeostasis by providing oxidative stress resistance and promoting longevity. p66Shc(−/−) mice are a unique opportunity to further comprehend the bidirectional relationship between redox homeostasis and the imbalance of mitochondrial biogenesis and dynamics during aging. This study shows that brain mitochondria of p66Shc(−/−) aged mice exhibit a reduced alteration of redox balance with a decrease in both ROS generation and its detoxification activity. We also demonstrate a strong link between reactive nitrogen species (RNS) and mitochondrial function, morphology, and biogenesis, where low levels of ONOO formation present in aged p66Shc(−/−) mouse brain prevent protein nitration, delaying the loss of biological functions characteristic of the aging process. Sirt3 modulates age-associated mitochondrial biology and function via lysine deacetylation of target proteins, and we show that its regulation depends on its nitration status and is benefited by the improved NAD+/NADH ratio in aged p66Shc(−/−) brain mitochondria. Low levels of protein nitration and acetylation could cause the metabolic homeostasis maintenance observed during aging in this group, thus increasing its lifespan.