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The mechanisms underlying ageing have been discussed for decades, and advances in molecular and cell biology of the last three decades have accelerated research in this area. Over this period, it has become clear that mitochondrial function, which plays a major role in many cellular pathways from ATP production to nuclear gene expression and epigenetics alterations, declines with age. The emerging concepts suggest novel mechanisms, involving mtDNA quality, mitochondrial dynamics or mitochondrial quality control. In this review, we discuss the impact of mitochondria in the ageing process, the role of mitochondria in reactive oxygen species production, in nuclear gene expression, the accumulation of mtDNA damage and the importance of mitochondrial dynamics and recycling. Declining mitophagy (mitochondrial quality control) may be an important component of human ageing.

Original publication

DOI

10.1007/s00335-016-9651-x

Type

Journal article

Journal

Mamm Genome

Publication Date

08/2016

Volume

27

Pages

381 - 395