Journal of Aging Research / 2011 / Article / Fig 1

Review Article

The Importance of Mitochondrial DNA in Aging and Cancer

Figure 1

Overview of effects of mtDNA aberrations correlated aging and cancer progression. Aberrant mitochondrial DNA causes a reduced fidelity of the electron transport chain, which in turn can alter the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), prematurely initiate apoptotic events and alter the nucleotide metabolism. An increased production of ROS can cause oxidative damage to cellular components including nuclear DNA, while both a decrease and increase of ROS can compromise its role as a second messenger molecule, affecting several cellular mechanisms. An altered nucleotide metabolism can result in a altered production of ribonucleotides and deoxyribonucleotides increasing the risk of inhibition of RNA synthesis and DNA mutations, respectively. Aberrant mitochondrial DNA can also alter the regulation of the nuclear epigenome even though the mechanism responsible has not been elucidated.

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