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Bioenergetic consequences of compromised mitochondrial DNA repair in the mouse heart

McLaughlin, Kelsey L., McClung, Joseph M., Fisher-Wellman, Kelsey H.
Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2018 v.504 no.4 pp. 742-748
DNA repair, Gibbs free energy, NAD (coenzyme), NADP (coenzyme), cell respiration, diagnostic techniques, electron transfer, energy, heart, mice, mitochondria, mitochondrial DNA, mutation, oxygen consumption, phenotype, proton-motive force
The progeroid phenotype of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutator mice has been nebulously attributed to general mitochondrial ‘dysfunction’, though few studies have rigorously defined the bioenergetic consequences of accumulating mtDNA mutations. Comprehensive mitochondrial diagnostics was employed to interrogate the bioenergetic properties of isolated cardiac mitochondria from mtDNA mutator mice and wild type littermates. Assessment of respiratory flux in conjunction with parallel measurements of mitochondrial free energy all point to the cause of respiratory flux limitations observed in mtDNA mutator mouse mitochondria being due to impairments within the energy transduction step catalyzed by the electron transport system in which NADH/NAD⁺ free energy is transduced to the proton motive force (ΔP). The primary bioenergetic consequence of this limitation appears to be hyper-reduction of NAD(P)H/NAD(P)⁺ redox poise across multiple substrate conditions, particularly evident at moderate to high respiration rates. This hyper-reduced phenotype appears to result from specific reductions in both complex I and complex IV expression, presumably due to compromised mtDNA integrity. Translation of these findings to the working heart would suggest that the primary biological consequence of accumulated mtDNA damage is accelerated electron leak driven by an increase in electron redox pressure for a given rate of oxygen consumption.