A pattern of accumulation of a somatic deletion of mitochondrial DNA in aging human tissues

Gino A Cortopassi, D. Shibata, N. W. Soong, N. Arnheim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

524 Scopus citations

Abstract

An assay that selectively amplifies a specific deletion of the mitochondrial genome has been used to study the extent of the deletion's accumulation in a variety of human tissues. The deletion occurs at much higher levels in nervous and muscle tissues than in all other tissues studied. The variation in deletion level between the same tissues in different persons of similar age appears to be less than the variation among tissues within an individual. Tests for artifactual explanations of the level differences were each negative. Three cellular parameters that are correlated with the level of the deletion are identified. The preferential accumulation of deleterious mitochondrial mutations in a restricted subset of aging human tissues may compound deficiencies of function in those tissues that accrue with age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7370-7374
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume89
Issue number16
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Brain
  • Degenerative disease
  • Heart
  • PCR
  • Somatic mutation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General

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