Formation and repair of oxidative damage in the mitochondrial DNA

Müftüoğlu M. , Mori M. P. , De Souza-Pinto N. C.

MITOCHONDRION, vol.17, pp.164-181, 2014 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 17
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.mito.2014.03.007
  • Title of Journal : MITOCHONDRION
  • Page Numbers: pp.164-181


The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) encodes for only 13 polypeptides, components of 4 of the 5 oxidative phosphorylation complexes. But despite this apparently small numeric contribution, all 13 subunits are essential for the proper functioning of the oxidative phosphorylation circuit Thus, accumulation of lesions, mutations and deletions/insertions in the mtDNA could have severe functional consequences, including mitochondrial diseases, aging and age-related diseases. The DNA is a chemically unstable molecule, which can be easily oxidized, alkylated, deaminated and suffer other types of chemical modifications, throughout evolution the organisms that survived were those who developed efficient DNA repair processes. In the last two decades, it has become clear that mitochondria have DNA repair pathways, which operate, at least for some types of lesions, as efficiently as the nuclear DNA repair pathways. The mtDNA is localized in a particularly oxidizing environment, making it prone to accumulate oxidatively generated DNA modifications (ODMs). In this article, we: i) review the major types of ODMs formed in mtDNA and the known repair pathways that remove them; ii) discuss the possible involvement of other repair pathways, just recently characterized in mitochondria, in the repair of these modifications; and iii) address the role of DNA repair in mitochondrial function and a possible cross-talk with other pathways that may potentially participate in mitochondrial genomic stability, such as mitochondrial dynamics and nuclear-mitochondrial signaling. Oxidative stress and ODMs have been increasingly implicated in disease and aging, and thus we discuss how variations in DNA repair efficiency may contribute to the etiology of such conditions or even modulate their clinical outcomes. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. and Mitochondria Research Society. All rights reserved.