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Mutations of Mitochondrial DNA Are Not Major Contributors to Aging of Fruit Flies

Kauppila, TES; Bratic, A; Jensen, MB; Baggio, F; Partridge, L; Jasper, H; Groenke, S; (2018) Mutations of Mitochondrial DNA Are Not Major Contributors to Aging of Fruit Flies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , 115 (41) E9620-E9629. 10.1073/pnas.1721683115. Green open access

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Abstract

Mammals develop age-associated clonal expansion of somatic mtDNA mutations resulting in severe respiratory chain deficiency in a subset of cells in a variety of tissues. Both mathematical modeling based on descriptive data from humans and experimental data from mtDNA mutator mice suggest that the somatic mutations are formed early in life and then undergo mitotic segregation during adult life to reach very high levels in certain cells. To address whether mtDNA mutations have a universal effect on aging metazoans, we investigated their role in physiology and aging of fruit flies. To this end, we utilized genetically engineered flies expressing mutant versions of the catalytic subunit of mitochondrial DNA polymerase (DmPOLγA) as a means to introduce mtDNA mutations. We report here that lifespan and health in fruit flies are remarkably tolerant to mtDNA mutations. Our results show that the short lifespan and wide genetic bottleneck of fruit flies are limiting the extent of clonal expansion of mtDNA mutations both in individuals and between generations. However, an increase of mtDNA mutations to very high levels caused sensitivity to mechanical and starvation stress, intestinal stem cell dysfunction, and reduced lifespan under standard conditions. In addition, the effects of dietary restriction, widely considered beneficial for organismal health, were attenuated in flies with very high levels of mtDNA mutations.

Type: Article
Title: Mutations of Mitochondrial DNA Are Not Major Contributors to Aging of Fruit Flies
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1721683115
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1721683115
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: mtDNA, aging, lifespan, dietary restriction, intestinal stem cells
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10060588
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