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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2011, Article ID 136435, 10 pages
Review Article

The Role of the Mitochondrial Genome in Ageing and Carcinogenesis

1Laboratory of Molecular Oncology, Department of Oncology, Military Institute of Medicine, ul. Szaserów 128, 01-141 Warsaw, Poland
2Institute of Genetics and Biotechnology, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw, Pawinskiego 5a, 02-106, Warsaw, Poland
3Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Pawinskiego 5a, 02-106 Warsaw, Poland

Received 29 October 2010; Accepted 3 January 2011

Academic Editor: Alberto Sanz

Copyright © 2011 Anna M. Czarnecka and Ewa Bartnik. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mitochondrial DNA mutations and polymorphisms have been the focus of intensive investigations for well over a decade in an attempt to understand how they affect fundamental processes such as cancer and aging. Initial interest in mutations occurring in mitochondrial DNA of cancer cells diminished when most were found to be the same mutations which occurred during the evolution of human mitochondrial haplogroups. However, increasingly correlations are being found between various mitochondrial haplogroups and susceptibility to cancer or diseases in some cases and successful aging in others.