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MINI-REVIEW: Mitochondrial Genome and Longevity

R. A. Zinovkin1,2*, M. V. Skulachev1,2, and V. P. Skulachev1

1Lomonosov Moscow State University, Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, 119991 Moscow, Russia; E-mail: roman.zinovkin@gmail.com

2Lomonosov Moscow State University, Institute of Mitoengineering, 119991 Moscow, Russia

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received August 14, 2016; Revision received September 7, 2016
The mitochondrial genome provides not only respiratory chain function, but it also ensures the impact of mitochondria on nearly all crucial metabolic processes. It is well known that mitochondria regulate aging and lifespan. However, until now there were no direct experimental data concerning the influence of various mitochondrial DNA variants on lifespan of animals with identical nuclear genome. In a recent paper of J. A. Enríquez and coworkers (Latorre-Pellicer, A., et al. (2016) Nature, 535, 561-565), it was shown that mice carrying nuclear DNA from one strain and mitochondrial DNA from another had longer median lifespan and retarded development of various aging traits. This review critically analyzes that paper and considers some aspects of the crosstalk between the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. We also discuss new perspectives of gerontology in the light of the discovery made by Enríquez’s group.
KEY WORDS: mitochondria, mitochondrial DNA, nuclear genome, lifespan, aging

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297916120014